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Schumer announces new contract for Cape Air in Massena

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MASSENA - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced on Monday that Cape Air has been selected for a new, two-year contract for service at Massena International Airport, through the federal Essential Air Service program.

Cape Air will provide three daily one-stop round trips to Boston Logan International Airport via Albany International Airport starting April 1, 2013, through 2015.Cape Air currently provides such service, and this renewal was not certain.

EAS grants subsidize air service to and from small airports throughout the United States. They serve to ensure residents and businesses in these cities have air travel options by providing funding to airlines and airports to keep their flights running.

“Having local and affordable air service in your region shouldn’t be a special privilege reserved for a lucky few, and Cape Air’s new contract at Massena International Airport will bring more opportunities for St. Lawrence and north county residents and business people – arriving and leaving the area – to connect to flights across the nation,” Schumer said in a news release announcing the contract. “There is no question about it - access to air travel is good for businesses, good for jobs, and good for the financial health of the community, and I’m pleased to announce that service from Massena to Boston will continue through 2015.”

The Essential Air Service program was developed after the airline industry was deregulated in 1978. Deregulation gave airlines the freedom to decide which markets to serve and how much to charge for that service.This led to a scarcity of air service in many rural communities across the country where operating costs were higher and populations were smaller and less dense.

The EAS program was put in to place to guarantee air service to these underserved communities. EAS provides subsidies to commuter airlines across the country to serve approximately 140 rural communities, including six communities in Upstate New York.

On several occasions, Schumer has fought to defeat a proposals to cut the Essential Air Services program. Six rural airports in New York, as well as more than 100 others across the country, benefit from the federal Essential Air Service program, and would be at serious risk without this funding. Not only does the EAS program provide air services to underserved rural communities, but it is an economic engine in those regions, contributing to the success of local businesses and promoting job creation and growth.

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