Washington, DC (WVNS) – After an announcement from SkyWest to discontinue Essential Air Services to the Clarksburg and Lewisburg airports, Senator Joe Manchin wrote a letter to protest.

Last week, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg following the announcement from SkyWest that they plan to discontinue Essential Air Services (EAS) to North Central West Virginia Airport in Clarksburg (CKB) and Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg (LWB).

In the letter, Senator Manchin urged Secretary Buttigieg to place a hold on the termination of air services at the two airports to protect local economies and transportation options in Clarksburg and Lewisburg. Following Senator Manchin’s efforts, DOT announced a hold on the termination of these air services and issued a request for proposals for replacement services.

“Air service is absolutely critical for West Virginia, connecting our communities to the rest of the country, helping businesses export their products, and increasing tourism to our great state. I am requesting the DOT work to preserve the air service we have until another provider can be found. For years, I have continually fought for Essential Air Service program funding which provides quality, reliable air travel, increased visitors and new economic opportunities to the Mountain State. Losing this essential service could cause irreparable harm to our communities in the state, which has been investing considerably in economic development and tourism. CKB has an annual economic impact of $1.1 billion, and future development is estimated to double the economic impact and create more than 1,000 jobs…LWB has a total economic impact of $91 million, and it serves as the gateway the Greenbrier Hotel, one of West Virginia’s most famous landmarks, as well as the Monongahela National Forest and the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve – our nation’s newest National Park,”

Senator Joe Manchin, (D-WV)

The full letter is available here.