Benishek Business Round Table

The U.P.’s voice in Congress visited Marquette this morning to talk about how to grow the region’s economy and create jobs.

Congressman Dan Benishek met city and county officials, as well as local businesspeople.

He wanted to hear their concerns with Washington and what can be done about those concerns.

Benishek says federal regulations, uncertainty about the tax code and concerns about the health care law are coming up again and again in forums like this one.

Essential Air Service subsidies for U.P. airports also came up.

Sawyer International Airport does not receive federal EAS funding.

Two years ago, Sawyer had half of the U.P.’s passenger air traffic.

Last year, Sawyer had 43% of it, and for the first half of this year, that market share was 36%.

Sawyer has also been losing flights recently.

Some of the guests claimed competition with U.P. airports that do receive EAS funding may be partly to blame.

Benishek says while Marquette County has a vibrant airport, he has to represent vastly different interests across the huge 1st Congressional District and is trying his best to balance those interests in what he does.