Alert! To all voting Minnesotans: call your representatives to protect the funding for our rural airports. I found out from Rep. Rick Nolan’s office that sometime in May or June the U.S. House, after going through its machinations, will be voting on the money for the Regional Essential Air Services Bill for Rural Commercial Airlines. This money comes from taxes on domestic and foreign tickets sold to traveling passengers. Some in the House of Representatives consider this a waste of support to our regional air carriers.
Well, Nolan and I do not consider this as a waste of money. Keeping our small community airports open is a necessity, as far we are concerned.
We don’t drive four hours to the Twin Cities to hop a plane. We use our local airport to get to the Twin Cities. Then we hop another plane to get around the country. My 75-year-old husband’s 94-year-old mother in South Dakota, from her health decline to death, spent months traveling back and forth. We used the Brainerd airport, which is only a few miles from where we live.
No way as old people could we have done that without our local air carriers. Just the thought of a four-hour round trip every week for months to Minneapolis, navigating lane changes and heavy traffic, would have scared me to death. I’d be afraid of getting killed or killing somebody.
I am terrified that our local airport could be shut down. Then what are we supposed to do?