Air service out of Joplin should be considered within the realm of a regional transportation plan that includes rail/bus connecting transportation.
For the nonbusiness traveler, transportation to and from the area has had one improvement in the past five years, the Northwest Regional Airport. Personally, my last flight was in July 1999, when the inconveniences at some points along the trip caused me to swear off air travel from any of the area airports.
After studying the situation, I resolved to use Amtrak and have done so twice to Southern California, out of Newton and Lawrence, Kan., to which I was obliged to drive myself. Due to the reasonable costs, free parking, the enjoyment of scenery and the sort of "camping trip-like" friendly, relaxed atmosphere, I will continue to use Amtrak.
The airlines and highways get enormous general taxpayer subsidies, yet rail passenger travel is expected to "turn a profit" with little or no government subsidies.