Federal budget plan could cut commercial flights at Burlington airport

BURLINGTON, Iowa - Kathy Martinez is planning for a big trip in December and she uses the Southeast Iowa Regional airport to fly to St. Louis.

"I'm only 20 minutes away, so it's nice and safe and easy to get on the plane and start my vacation," said Kathy Martinez, passenger.

Burlington's Southeast Iowa Regional airport would lose its flights to Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis with President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal.

"We don't really know what that means long term for our economic base but we know that it will have a negative impact on us," said Jim Ferneau, Burlington city manager.

The airport would also lose around $40,000 that they make each year off of the commercial flights.

"Rental from the Air Choice One, TSA renting the space here, also something called passenger facility charges which is a charge attached to every airline ticket and that goes away as well," said Mary Beaird, Southeast Iowa Regional airport director.

For Kathy, she'll be disappointed if she can't use this airport.

"We`re older now so safety`s more important, so I rather us fly than worry about his driving," said Martinez.

The airport sees around 15,000 passengers each year.

If the budget does go through the airport won't entirely close because they provide other aviation services to the region.