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Bridgeport airport at risk of losing federal subsidies

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — North Central West Virginia Airport is in “a difficult situation” when it comes to its flights to Washington, D.C., according to Director Rick Rock.

The flights, offered by Silver Airways, are funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service (EAS) program.

Silver receives $191,000 monthly from the federal government to offer the daily flights to the nation’s capital. That figure is up from around $140,000 per month last year, according to Rock.

Rock said the cost of offering these flights is increasing as traffic has remained static. Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation has made it clear it plans to strictly enforce a $200 per passenger subsidy cap that has been in place for years, he said.

“That has been a requirement for a long time, and it just hasn’t been strictly enforced. This past year, they’ve put everybody on notice that it will be strictly enforced,” Rock said.

Each annual cycle of the EAS program runs from October through the end of September. Silver has failed to fall below the $200 cap each month since the new cycle began. In the month of February, Silver averaged $329 per passenger…

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