Federal officials approve EAS waiver for Scottsbluff, Kearney

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KNEP) - Federal officials have approved waivers to continue essential air service at Scottsbluff and Kearney.

The U-S Department of Transportation issued an order December 29, 2017 naming both communities among 18 across the nation that would be allowed to continue taking part in the federal program.

Scottsbluff and Kearney had been at-risk for losing EAS due to per-passenger subsidies in excess of regulations. The order noted both communities have been dealing with service disruptions due to a shortage of pilots, causing a rise in the subsidy provided by the federal government.

The West Nebraska Regional Airport has been without an essential air service provider since September 2017, when PenAir stopped providing EAS service. That company had entered reorganization under bankruptcy codes and officials say they intended to continue service between Scottsbluff and Denver until a new EAS carrier could start service, but an exodus of pilots forced them to halt services involving Nebraska and Kansas airports, among others.

New service to Denver by Skywest operating as United Express begins in Scottsbluff January 30th... And later this year in Kearney once a runway construction project is completed.