Jonesboro Airport to Lose Federal Subsidies

JUNE 26, 2004 - Posted at 12:24 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - The federal Transportation Department has issued an order tentatively canceling its subsidies for airline service in Jonesboro, saying it is too costly.

Last year the U.S. Department of Transportation paid just under $900,000 for airline service in the northeast Arkansas city, averaging to $221.36 per passenger.  However, department guidelines state that it cannot pay more than $200 per passenger for cities within 210 miles of a medium or large hub airport.  Jonesboro is less than 100 miles from the medium-hub Memphis International Airport.

Service in Jonesboro is provided by Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines.  Company officials say they plan to meet with city leaders next week.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)