Proposed federal budget cuts could hurt Hattiesburg-Laurel Airpo - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Proposed federal budget cuts could hurt Hattiesburg-Laurel Airport

An American Eagle flight takes on passengers at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Tuesday. Photo credit WDAM. An American Eagle flight takes on passengers at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Tuesday. Photo credit WDAM.
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

The Trump Administration is looking to cut subsidies for air service to small, rural airports, including the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport.  

The administration's proposed 2018 fiscal budget would eliminate the decades-old Essential Air Service (EAS) Program. 

It provides subsidies to air carriers to guarantee service to under-served communities.

Tom Heanue, the executive director of the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport, said the subsidies are needed, for passenger convenience and economic development.     

"Where most of our money is made is in the general aviation, that's the private pilots and the business people that house here," said Heanue. "So, we'd lose a little bit of money, we'd lose a little bit of our services, we'd have to restructure, but (it would be) sad for the people of the Pine Belt."

"There are a lot of people who don't mind driving to New Orleans or Jackson or Gulfport to fly, but you've got to understand that there's a lot of people in our community that don't have a vehicle to drive that far and so, we're an option for them and we're an economical option now, our service is very good, our service is very reliable," Heanue said. 

The airport currently offers daily flights to Dallas, but beginning this summer, it will add a flight to Chicago.  

The Essential Air Service Program costs taxpayers about $175 million each year.

About 150 communities are served by it, including Hattiesburg-Laurel, Greenville, Meridian and Tupelo.    

Heanue believes the program will survive, but it will probably be considered for elimination again next year.  

"I think it will, but I think, though, for the next four years, every year, it's going to be coming up," he said.

Copyright 2017 WDAM. All rights reserved. 

       

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • 2 jailed after failed robbery in Hub City

    2 jailed after failed robbery in Hub City

    Friday, November 24 2017 10:53 AM EST2017-11-24 15:53:14 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    A pair of suspects are behind bars after an apparent drug deal went bad at a Hub City motel.  Hattiesburg police responded to the Deluxe Inn at 900 Broadway Drive for a report of a robbery.  “As officers were conducting their investigation, it was determined that the victim and suspect would both be charged,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Amos Ball and Laquan Jones were both arrested at the scene and charged with conspiracy to commit a ...

    More >>

    A pair of suspects are behind bars after an apparent drug deal went bad at a Hub City motel.  Hattiesburg police responded to the Deluxe Inn at 900 Broadway Drive for a report of a robbery.  “As officers were conducting their investigation, it was determined that the victim and suspect would both be charged,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Amos Ball and Laquan Jones were both arrested at the scene and charged with conspiracy to commit a ...

    More >>
  • 1 injured, 1 charged in Hub City stabbing

    1 injured, 1 charged in Hub City stabbing

    Friday, November 24 2017 10:44 AM EST2017-11-24 15:44:04 GMT
    Louis MaheaLouis Mahea

    A Hattiesburg man is behind bars after a Thursday night stabbing injured one in the Hub City. Louis Mahea, 52, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after an incident that happened at 706 Milton Barnes Avenue. According to Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore, officers were dispatched to a reported stabbing around 10 p.m. Thursday night. One man was found suffering from at least one stab wound at the scene, and taken to a local hospital for treatment according to Mc...

    More >>

    A Hattiesburg man is behind bars after a Thursday night stabbing injured one in the Hub City. Louis Mahea, 52, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after an incident that happened at 706 Milton Barnes Avenue. According to Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore, officers were dispatched to a reported stabbing around 10 p.m. Thursday night. One man was found suffering from at least one stab wound at the scene, and taken to a local hospital for treatment according to Mc...

    More >>
  • 1 injured, 1 jailed in Hattiesburg shooting

    1 injured, 1 jailed in Hattiesburg shooting

    Thursday, November 23 2017 9:40 PM EST2017-11-24 02:40:16 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    A Thursday night shooting injured one person and landed another behind bars in the Hub City.  Ahmed Atiefa was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault after a shooting at Fat Boys, located at 819 Edwards Street just after 6 p.m.  “A male threw a drink at the cashier, who was Atiefa, and he grabbed a gun and went around the counter and tried to kick the victim, and then shot the victim,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Th...

    More >>

    A Thursday night shooting injured one person and landed another behind bars in the Hub City.  Ahmed Atiefa was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault after a shooting at Fat Boys, located at 819 Edwards Street just after 6 p.m.  “A male threw a drink at the cashier, who was Atiefa, and he grabbed a gun and went around the counter and tried to kick the victim, and then shot the victim,” said Hattiesburg Police Capt. Branden McLemore.  Th...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly