Smith Statement on PenAir Discontinuing Service in Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff

Aug 7, 2017 Issues: Rural Development, Transportation

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after PenAir announced it has filed a request with the Department of Transportation to end Essential Air Service routes between Denver and Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff.

“Commercial air service is necessary to connect rural communities with the national transportation network, and today’s announcement from PenAir on discontinuing its service in Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff is causing understandable concern among Nebraskans,” Smith said. “I have long supported the Essential Air Service and fought against federal regulations threatening our small airports.

“Despite this discouraging news, I will keep working with the impacted airports to help ensure continued access to air service, which is a crucial tool for economic development in these communities.”

Smith serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus. His Small Airport Regulation Relief Act provision was included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization signed into law in July 2016 to allow small airports to use enplanement numbers from 2012, before new pilot regulations took effect, to qualify for needed funding.