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Letter: Lebanon Gets Taken for a Ride

To the Editor:

The recent extra-low fares from Cape Air were no real bargain for the Lebanon taxpayers (“Breaking the Passenger Barrier,” Jan. 1). Because the magic goal of 10,000 emplanements was reached, the federal government will give the Lebanon Airport $1 million. For the record, that’s $2 million that will be given to small airports in New Hampshire — Pease and Lebanon.

Do the math. We, as federal taxpayers, just paid $100 per passenger at a time when the nation is trillions of dollars in the red. How many other small airports across the country have the same deal? Lebanon taxpayers have subsidized the airport for several years with promises that we will see a return on our investment. So we get to pay twice for an airport most of us don’t use or benefit from. We would be served far better by subsidizing a limo service to Manchester or Boston for the few who use the airport.

The Valley News article quoted passengers saying that there was no way they would be flying out of Lebanon if it wasn’t for the special low fare. Now that the magic goal has been reached, I would bet that Cape Air’s fares will be right back where they were, if not higher to make up for the giveaways.

We are now backed into a corner again and get to keep the Lebanon-taxpayer-subsidized airport running at its current level of service for years to come. There isn’t a homeowner or a business that would continue to operate under these circumstances.

Bill LaPan

Lebanon

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Lebanon Airport Passes Annual 10,000 Passenger Mark

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lebanon — Yesterday, 21-year-old Jeff Moran boarded a plane in Boston, flew to Lebanon, sat around the municipal airport for a few hours, and flew back. Why? Because it cost him only $24. “I just saw the $12 (one-way) flight deal and then decided, eh, just fly to Lebanon, just out and back, just for the heck of it,” Moran …