May 06, 2004 — The federal program that subsidizes air service in rural areas, including the North Country, has faced cuts under the current budget deficit. Lawmakers have fought to keep the service alive, saying it's the only way for airports like Massena, Watertown, and Saranac Lake to remain viable. Under the current system, operated by Mesa Air, all flights go to Pittsburgh. A Massena entrepreneur sees the situation as an opportunity. Ed Kaneb, Jr. is seeking $30-50 million to start his own regional commuter airline based in Massena. It would fly to Syracuse, with connections to northeast cities like Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, and New York City. Kaneb Jr. spoke with David Sommerstein. He sees the large population centers across the border as potential markets.