Mokulele Airlines (MW, Kona) will continue to operate the Essential Air Service (EAS) flights at Kamuela on the Hawaii Island after the local county government raised enough funds to cover its mandatory 5% contribution to the annual subsidy.

The Hawaii County government will pay USD19,873 to the airline annually, while the US Department of Transportation will cover the remaining 95% of the subsidy amounting to USD377,584.

The local government raised the means to cover its share through a contingency fund and by reducing the budget of the county Department of Research and Development, the Associated Press has clarified.

The regional specialist was reselected earlier this year for a one-year EAS contract through June 30, 2019, covering 12 weekly flights between Kamulea and Kahului, operated with a Cessna (single turboprop) 208.

Under the federal rules governing the EAS contracts, if an airport is located less than 40 miles from another facility which sees scheduled services, the local government has to cover 5% of the subsidy. Kamulea is located 39 miles away from Kona. If the local government would not have raised the funds, the EAS contract would have lapsed.