Rutland Airport service may get the axe

RUTLAND - Air passenger service at Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport may come to an end if budget cutters in the U.S. Congress have their way. House members are looking to reduce the ever-widening federal deficit by cutting hundreds of "non-vital" taxpayer-funded aviation-related subsidies.

Cutting the taxpayer subsidy to the Rutland facility is part of a special U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) budget bill last week. The effort was made to reauthorize a number of FAA programs that receive large amounts of public funds.

Recently, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) attempted to remove the provision on the House floor in attempt to save the Rutland part of the FAA program. He argued that the cut would harm both Rutland and hundreds of U.S. rural airports that rely on passenger service.

A final vote on the measure was expected at presstime.

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