AVIATION: A Wing and a Subsidy

With a population of 4,521, Payette, Idaho, is not exactly a throbbing metropolis. Yet that small agricultural center at the junction of the Payette and Snake rivers claims a badge of prosperity that is rare on the smalltown scene: regularly scheduled air service. Airline service to small towns has never been particularly good and, because of rising costs, it is now going the way of the trolley car, the cracker barrel and the general store. During the past five years, 77 small communities have been lopped from airline route structures. Today fewer...

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