ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Officials in northeast Georgia say Athens-Ben Epps Airport is losing the $1.6 million in federal funding that supports passenger air service by Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines. <br />
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Athens-Clarke County government officials made the announcement in a statement Tuesday. <br />
The statement said that SeaPort, which provides flights from Athens to Nashville, Tennessee, is expected to end its service to Athens as funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Essential Air Service program ends on Sept. 30. <br />
A SeaPort vice president was not immediately available Tuesday for comment on the airline's plans for Athens. <br />
The federal government's Essential Air Service program was established to ensure that small communities served by air carriers could maintain a minimal level of service. <br />
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