Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Submitted by Roger Gitlin – March 21, 2017 –

President Trump’s proposed budget will call for the elimination of Essential Air Service (EAS) which subsidizes the two Pen Air flights entering and exiting McNamara Field (CEC) in Crescent City..

Without addressing the hows and the whys that could affect CEC and six other commercial airports in California and scores of other smaller airports across the country, I will say I am not surprised the Administration moved in this direction. It matters not, at this point, this community was lead to believe EAS was “safe.” Nothing of a political nature is safe should be the message. Of course, you know our Del Norte County Board of Supervisors on a 4-1 vote, opted to break the piggy bank and ” go it alone” in building a state of the art terminal at a cost of $2.8 Million. Unless our Board can put aside petty politics and unite to make the case to the Trump Administration the absolute necessity to retain the EAS Service. The alternative, unless there is a dramatic reversal to this direction will be sealed and Essential Air Service will disappear at CEC, I suspect Pen Air will also disappear unless it continues to be subsidized through the end of the $4.3 Million EAS contract, and into the future.

The Terminal is going to be built and the possibility is real that our airport will soon devolve to general aircraft only, with no major carrier. As the supervisor from District 1, I wonder aloud if this item will be addressed at the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority’s monthly meeting or will BCRA call an emergency meeting to discuss and develop a strategy to make the case to retain the Service in Del Norte County.

Make no mistake, If Essential Air Services disappears, the impact will ripple down in a major way to the airport in McKinleyville which offers both SFO and PDX ( Portland ) service. I bring this vital information to your attention so you can be engaged and informed in matters that affect our lives.

3 thoughts on “Does our airport have a future?”
  1. A son of Crescent City that flies in each year from the DC Metro area, this proposed cut is both personally injurious and preposterous to the folks who marched in file and voted “Trump”. They don’t yet nor did not realize the implications of their trust in a charlatan promising benefit to “rural Americans”.


    1. Nice try, the real blame for this impending elimination should fall on the shoulders of previous Board of Supervisors who listened to local environmentalists and failed to push forward the need for a longer landing strip. By having that in place instead of this foolishness of a new terminal, Sky West, the previous carrier would have continued its service to Sacramento and San Francisco. By continuing service to the South, our numbers of passengers would have exceeded the minimum of 10,000 per year and the EAS subsidy would likely have continued. By compounding the previous Board’s stupidity of not addressing the runway problem and contracting with a carrier which serviced Portland, they pretty much did in the possibility of continued commercial air service from our airport. Portland is a very bad fit for our area and sharply declining passenger numbers have born this out. So, before you do the typical “Trump is a bad guy” routine, take a closer look at the local Democrats on the Board of Supervisors, McClure, Hemmingsen, Finigan and on back ten or fifteen years, to find the real culprits….

  2. Would have been nice if they would have made it a priority to extend the runway to get United Express service to San Francisco. So we would not have to drive to McKinleyville or Medford to get a connection via SFO.

    Will cutting EAS make a real difference in Federal Budget?

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