Citing budget concerns as a reason for not providing screening services at the Salina Regional Airport, the Transportation Security Administration has signaled their reluctance to work in Salina until funds can be found to reimburse the agency.
“Their Plan B is not acceptable,” said Tim Rogers Executive Director of the Salina Airport Authority.
“Their Plan B was to have Salina passengers flown into Denver International Airport, then they could be off-loaded and bused to the front of the DIA terminal for screening.”
Rogers joined in during the KSAL Morning News Friday with a look at the challenges that are facing an April 1 open to essential air service from Great Lakes Airlines.
A Kansas coalition led by Senator Pat Roberts, Senator Jerry Moran and Congressman Tim Huelskamp have all signed on to a bill aimed at requiring the TSA to meet its obligation to provide screening services at small airports. “Treating Small Airports with Fairness Act of 2016” has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.
Congressman Huelskamp told KSAL listeners on Friday that the TSA has also denied services at other small airports in Texas, California and Wyoming.
“We’ve made that request and I understand they are reconsidering their decision and hopefully soon we can have a positive answer,” Huelkamp said.
Great Lakes Airlines was selected in early February by the USDOT to provide non-stop flights from Salina to Denver.
Great Lakes Airlines is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Denver and boasts a fleet of 30-seat turbo prop aircraft with a stand up cabin, flight attendant and lavatory on board.