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Possible cuts for Rutland airport

In the years between Precision and Cape Air, the airport had spotty big hub service from servers such as Colgan Air.

Restaurant service at the airport has been spotty, too. Currently, only terminal vending machines serve the hunger-pangs of passengers.

But with Cape Air's robust commitment to southern Vermont passenger service-and its advantageous JetBlue partnership-the Rutland airport was back on rising-star status.

Since the 1990s, more passengers-hailing from Addison to Bennington counties, even Washington County, N.Y.-have discovered the airport's no-hassle free parking, friendly, fast security service, and relaxed personal comfort level. Such passenger kudos are a big plus in favor of the airport's rising-star status.

Meanwhile, at the Rutland airport, administrators and staff are taking a wait-and-see approach to the proposed capitol-dome EAS cuts.

"I'm hopeful, but of course it's not a done deal yet," said airport manager David E. Carman. "I just can't say much about it. Congressman Welch and Senators Leahy and Sanders are very supportive of the airport. But we have to wait and see what happens in the coming days."

It is especially frustrating to Carman since the Rutland airport has seen its best year since 1985 in commercial passenger flights. While he won't admit, Carman's management vision is an essential part of the airport's success story.

Over 10,000 passengers flew through the Rutland airport in 2010, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. And that number doesn't even include an increase in business jets using the airport.

Carman credits a lot of the recent success to Cape Air, based in Hyannis, Mass., and the southern Vermont airport's ease of access as a destination.

"Cape Air is a very reliable airline," he said. "With three flights a day here, they can move passengers aboard their fleet of Cessna 402s."

Cape Air's fleet of Cessna 402s was apparently a good investment.

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