WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is renewing New Mexico Airlines’ (Pacific Wings) contract to provide air service to Carlsbad, and Great Lakes’ contracts to provide service to Clovis and Silver City/Hurley/Deming.
Under the agreement, New Mexico Airlines will continue to provide two round trips each weekday and each weekend to Albuquerque International Sunport under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program for an annual subsidy rate of $1.3 million. Great Lakes will provide two round trips per weekday and each weekend to Albuquerque from Clovis and Silver City; each contract is worth $1.6 million per year.
“Commercial air service is very important to a community’s ability to retain and recruit businesses. These contracts to support commercial air service are an important investment in our state’s economic development,” Bingaman said.
Congress established the Essential Air Service Program in 1978 to ensure that communities that had commercial air service before deregulation continue to receive scheduled service. Without EAS, many rural communities would have no commercial air service at all. New Mexico has a total of 4 EAS communities: Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Clovis, and Silver City.