Alaska’s lone Congressman Don Young yesterday won approval of an amendment to the Fiscal Year 14 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill protecting the Essential Air Service program in areas outside the contiguous 48 States.
With 82 percent of Alaskan communities off the road system, Young told his colleagues that aviation is no luxury, but rather a necessity…
Rep. Young(R-AK): “I just like to remind my colleagues, if you take all the land east of the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean, from Maine to Florida, that’s Alaska. When you think about it, in that area there’s 253 congressman and 52 senators that’s really different. Hawaii has the same problem, not as large, but we have only one way to communicate, and that’s air service.
Young’s amendment won passage on a vote of 239 to 175.
Young also helped defeat an amendment that would have eliminated the program entirely.
Debate on the full appropriations measure is expected later this week.