Last year the government gave SkyWest Airlines $2.18 million to serve Laramie, according to the Associated Press? Essential Air Service (EAS) pays them to serve rural areas. Essentially, the proposed budget would eliminate that.

Cody is another area that has benefitted, and all of Laramie’s service had been courtesy of EAS, according to the Casper Star. At Yellowstone Regional Airport, SkyWest is paid $938,000 though winter, but in summer gets more commercial flights without government help.

EAS started in 1978 when the Airline industry was deregulated. It kept Airlines from ignoring unprofitable small markets.

Trump’s budget proposal calls the subsidy wasteful and unnecessary, “EAS flights are not full, and have a high subsidy cost per passenger.”

For those worried this is the last of the EAS, the first thing to remember is that SkyWest contracts are still good for another 12 months. Also airline analyst Gary Leff blogs that Congress is just not likely to cut the EAS program.