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Cedar airport may lose funds

Decreased air travel affects federal money

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CEDAR CITY (AP) — The decrease in air travel following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon could cost the Cedar City Municipal Airport as much as $2 million in federal funding.

Last year, the airport had slightly more than the 10,000 paid departures required to qualify for a $1 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

As of Sept. 1, the airport had been up 600 departures from the same period last year.

However, the terrorist attacks halted all air traffic for most of the week, and even though flights have resumed, people are hesitating to fly.

"Traffic is expected to be down and if they really cut flights 20 percent and lay off people, we're not going to make 10,000 this year," airport manager Steve Farmer said.

He said he's also concerned about the grant for last year's record enplanements. "I don't know if the $1 million we earned last year might be diverted to help airlines or increase security," he said.

The attacks also have affected the city police budget.

Lt. Keith Savage said his department is averaging 16 hours of overtime daily to keep up with FAA security requirements.

Each airport is required to have two uniformed officers on site two hours before each commercial flight lands or takes off.