Two Oklahoma airports don't have to subsidize commuter air service

Wednesday, November 26th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Washington-AP) -- Small airports in Enid and Ponca City won't have to pay part of the costs of what it takes to have commuter service at their airports.

At least this year.

Airports won a one-year respite Tuesday. But after next year, the US Transportation Department rule will require 10 small airports nationwide to pay 10% of the government subsidy for four years to commuter airlines that serve sparsely populated areas.

Enid and Ponca City are included on that list.

Critics of the rule say it would cost too much for already-strapped airports to pay and will ground commercial flights in rural communities.

The delay is a last-ditch effort to give small airports time to prepare to pay.

Airports and the surrounding communities that govern them can appeal their selection if they can show they can't afford the 10% copay.