WASHINGTON—The White House in its fiscal 2020 budget request indicated plans to reform the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, opening up a schism between the Trump administration and rural airport operators who depend on the pre-deregulation-era program to make sure carriers continue flying to their communities. The administration’s budget proposal aims to reduce discretionary funding for EAS from $175 million to $125 million in fiscal 2020—a $50 million reduction. ...

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