Federal Funding for Jonesboro Airport Restored

JULY 1, 2004 - Posted at 10:43 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Less than 24 hours after Jonesboro Municipal Airport commissioners, city leaders and Mesa Airlines officials met to discuss ways to deal with a proposed major cut in federal subsidized funding for the local airport, First District Congressman Marion Berry was alerted this morning by the Department of Transportation that the D.O.T. has reversed its earlier decision to terminate Jonesboro's Essential Air Service (EAS) funding.

The original decision to revoke EAS funding was based on a calculation showing Jonesboro Airport had exceeded the $200 subsidy limit allowed under guidelines.

Berry attributed the D.O.T.'s reversal to the continued efforts of his office, Jonesboro municipal and airport officials, and Mesa Airlines executives.  "This is exactly what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors team up on behalf of the community," Berry said.  "I am proud to have been a part of such a committed alliance to save EAS funding for Jonesboro.  Infrastructure is the lifeblood of rural America."

A statement from the D.O.T. release said, "After further review, we have decided to withdraw our tentative decision with respect to Jonesboro."