For many years, US Congress has tried to reduce or cut funding entirely for the federally supported Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which provides scheduled air service to rural communities.  Today, there is plenty of money in the EAS kitty, but the program is threatened by a worsening pilot shortage and by other concerns, including the 2013 first officer qualification (FOQ) rule, which requires a pilot to accumulate a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight time or 1,000 hours from an ...

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