Essential Air Service (EAS) is a federal program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial air service following the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
Using EAS, the United States Department of Transportation subsidizes airlines to serve communities across the country that otherwise would not receive scheduled air service.
About one year ago, Silver Air was awarded the EAS contract to serve the Altoona and Johnstown airports.
Hope among airport authority members and others who depend upon commercial flights out of Martinsburg and Johnstown was that Silver Air would provide a level of service better than its predecessor, Colgan Air.
Recently the airline was granted special recognition for its level of service.
On its website, Silver Airways states that it strives to make your travel as trouble-free and enjoyable as possible.
However, an air travel experience like that described by John Kasun in a recent Sunday column shows otherwise. Taking Kasun's experience as he writes it, the members of the authority agree that poor counter service and a pilot late for a flight are inexcusable.
Through its airport manager, the authority has brought this matter to the attention of Silver Air. There are other areas of concern with Silver Air not just at Altoona but from other regional markets served by the airline.
Some of these concerns have been addressed while others have not. Rest assured that the airport authority and airport manager will continue to be diligent in attempting to improve attention to detail with essential air service out of Martinsburg.
Altoona-Blair County Airport offers many advantages:?Parking is free, security lines are not long, the setting is beautiful and a great many connections are available to all parts of the country through our hub destination, Dulles International.
United Airlines is part of an alliance with other carriers that combine to offer convenient connections to nearly every destination.
Those of us associated with the management of the airport appreciate the patronage of business and vacation travelers who choose to use our local facility. We encourage others to consider the air travel convenience offered in our own backyard.
Be assured that we are interested in knowing about your air travel experience and continue to endeavor to make flying out of
Altoona-Blair a good travel experience.
Altoona-Blair County Airport Authority, Lanny F. Ross, Chair
(This letter was signed by seven other members of the Blair County Airport Authority.)