A House resolution introduced by state Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, urges the president and U.S. Congress to continue funding the Essential Air Service program, which is an important resource to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The Essential Air Service program ensures small communities previously served by certified airlines maintain commercial service. The program provides business leaders, recreationalists and residents reliable air travel to and from small airports around the country, including five airports in the U.P.
The large expanse of the peninsula requires reliable air travel to make the region’s mines, forests, lakeshores, communities and colleges as accessible as possible.
The resolution comes after President Trump called for a reduction in the Essential Air Service’s budget.
LaFave said the program is essential to the economic well-being of the U.P.
“Businesses depend on reliable air travel to and from small airports in the U.P. and airports require funding from the program to maintain critical infrastructure like runways, lighting and safety equipment,” LaFave said. “Any reduction in federal funding for this vital program will harm our economic activity here in the U.P.
“The Essential Air Service Program is appropriately named because it is essential to the U.P.”
House Resolution 59 was referred to the House Commerce and Trade Committee. LaFave will testify in support of the resolution at a later date.