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A plane on the tarmac at Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear
A plane on the tarmac at Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear

North Country airports not threatened in Congressional FAA standoff

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While the congressional deadlock over funding the "Essential Air Service" threatens a number of small airports across the country--including Jamestown's here in New York--

It won't endanger the EAS subsidies for North Country and Adirondack airports like Massena, Watertown, Ogdensburg, Lake Clear and Plattsburgh.

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Ross Dubarry is airport manager for the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear. He says the airport won't lose its subsidy because it falls outside the terms of the proposed cuts: it would have to be 90 miles or less from the nearest hub airport; and receive a subsidy in excess of $1000 per passenger.

Dubarry says the nearest hub—Manchester, New Hampshire—is more than 90 miles away. And Adirondack Regional’s subsidy is about $126 per passenger, according to Cape Air. That airline receives the subsidy for its flights to and from Boston.

“Those proposed modifications would not jeopardize Saranac Lake’s eligibility to receive funding under the program.”

It’s unclear when the partial FAA shutdown could end as lawmakers have now left Washington for the August recess. 

The Obama administration says Congress could take emergency action without coming back to Washington.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman, said such action was not likely although he did not dismiss it entirely.

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