Essential Air Service, or E.A.S., is a federal program that provides subsidies for rural airports to give those communities access to the national transportation system.
It costs airlines more than $200 to fly a passenger out of that airport. The subsidies help pay for that extra cost, to make sure everyone can afford to fly.
The Altoona-Blair County Airport didn’t reach the subsidy standard this year, so it received one of the 11 waivers in order to stay in the E.A.S. program.
The airport’s manager says the airport is essential to not just travelers, but everyone in the community.