Sen. Marshall Announces SkyWest Airlines, Inc. as Essential Air Service Provider for Hays Regional Airport
(Washington, D.C., March 18, 2021) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall announced the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) selection of SkyWest Airlines, Inc. to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) to the Hays, Kansas community through July 31, 2024. SkyWest will provide 12 weekly nonstop round trips to Denver International Airport (DEN) with the annual DOT subsidy of $3,642,585.
“Consistent and reliable air service is vital to the economic success of the state of Kansas,” said Senator Roger Marshall. “Through the Essential Air Service program, Hays is able to link northwest Kansas to the broader national air transportation system and attract new businesses and opportunities to the region. As long as our rural communities remain connected, the sky is the limit for the hardworking people of Kansas.”
Essential Air Service is a U.S. Department of Transportation subsidy program meant to ensure air service for small markets that lack a financial incentive to be served by U.S. commercial airlines. DOT provides a subsidy for two round-trip flights per day between small markets to larger airports, and contracts can last anywhere from two to four years. This allows small communities to stay connected to the broader National Air Transportation System while ensuring proper oversight of the program and federal dollars. There are parameters for eligibility, including distance from a medium- or large-hub airport and number of people flying out of the airport per day. In Kansas, there are five communities receiving EAS: Hays, Garden City, Salina, Liberal, and Dodge City.