Yeager Airport faces dramatic cuts in its budget on July 1 due in part to the loss of a flight to Orlando and the 20,000 passengers that it carried.
The flight ended after Southwest Airlines acquired AirTran. Southwest's contract with employees bars it from operating at airports where ticketing and ground support are hired out to non-airline contractors.
Yeager will cut its budget by $675,000, which means no raises and increases in health insurance premiums for employees. And there could be layoffs at the airport for some of its 51 employees, officials warn.
This is a hard blow for employees. Here's hoping, for their sake, that an uptick in business will allow relief soon.
But things could be worse. Had the state built the Huntington-Charleston airport in Lincoln County that was proposed in the 1990s, the public would be on the hook to meet payments on a construction bond of at least $380 million.
The public dodged a really big bullet.