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News stories tagged with "big-sky"

Air service set to grow in North Country

New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced a deal this week that could expand air service in the North Country. Jonathan Brown has more.  Go to full article

Airline expert: North Country needs Federal air subsidies

Michael Boyd, who heads the Boyd Group based in Colorado, has emerged as one of the most outspoken critic of Federal EAS subsidies nationwide. But according to Boyd, North Country airports need and deserve taxpayer money to serve their isolated communities.  Go to full article

McHugh: Big Sky gives airline subsidies black eye

Federal officials have issued an emergency order designed to compel Big Sky airlines to keep flying in the North Country until a replacement airline is found. The US Department of Transportation issued the order late last week, requiring Big Sky to continue operations for at least 90 days. Big Sky officials say they hope to shut down on January 7th. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

Big Sky Airlines quits the North Country

Big Sky Airlines is pulling out of the North Country. The company announced on Wednesday that its planes will cease operations in the region at midnight on January 7. In a statement, Big Sky officials said they would continue to operate in Montana at least for the time being. "Our eastern operations were dramatically affected by a combination of unusually bad weather, disappointing revenue and record high fuel prices," said Fred deLeeuw, Big Sky's president, in a prepared statement. "We have great people who have worked extraordinarily hard, but that factor could not overcome the challenges we faced, and we no longer believe that we can reach sustained profitability." Big Sky will abandon a Federal subsidy, which could result in legal entanglements, and leave half a dozen North Country airports without service. Communities affected include Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena, Plattsburgh, and Lake Clear. Jonathan Brown will have more on this story Thursday morning during the 8 o'clock hour.  Go to full article

Big Sky begins north country flights

Big Sky Airlines began flying planes yesterday out of the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear and the Plattsburgh Airport. Operating as a Delta connection, Big Sky will provide three round trip flights each weekday and each weekend to Boston. As Chris Knight reports from Saranac Lake, business leaders and elected officials are optimistic the service will be used by local residents and tourists.  Go to full article

Big Sky air routes to include Lake Clear and Plattsburgh

Montana-based Big-Sky Airlines has secured the federal subsidy to provide commercial air service at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear and Plattsburgh International Airport. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Big Sky, the only company to submit a proposal, a $2.4 million annual subsidy on Thursday. Big Sky already flies out of the airports in Watertown, Ogdensburg and Massena. As Chris Knight reports, local officials hope their residents will embrace the new service.  Go to full article

McHugh wants more money for rural air subsidies

As we heard in Jonathan's report, air travel in the North Country is heavily subsidized by a federal program called Essential Air Service. Since 1978, EAS has paid airlines like Big Sky to serve more than 140 rural communities nationwide. Federal, state and local governments have also spent millions of dollars more building airport infrastructures, including terminals and runways. Late last month, North Country Congressman John McHugh introduced a new bill that would expand funding for small town airports. The bill, which faces stiff opposition, would boost subsidies to airlines to reflect changes in their operating costs. It would also allow local and state governments to spend more to attract a preferred airline into a community, rather than accepting the lowest bidder for EAS subsidies. Congressman McHugh was in Saranac Lake yesterday touring the Adirondack Medical Center. After his visit, he spoke about rural air service with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

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