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Are Airporter's profits excessive?

The Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter may be making too much money for its own good. But the solution proposed by state regulators could force the company to adopt drastic reductions in service along with personnel cuts.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission last August filed a complaint against the company, saying its profits were excessive and ordering the business to reduce fares by $2 per trip.

That complaint was heard in April by a WUTC-appointed court administrator, who issued a preliminary decision in the WUTC’s favor. The Port Orchard-based company intends to appeal the ruling to the WUTC board of directors and, if necessary, to a Superior Court judge.

The Airporter, which operates a daily passenger shuttle service between Kitsap County and SeaTac Airport, holds a certificate of authority from WUTC. The agreement grants the company a monopoly in this market but caps its profits at 7 percent annually.

But that figure isn’t set in stone.

“It’s a guideline, really,” said Richard Asche, who founded the Airporter 22 years ago. “It’s not written down anywhere that you can’t make more than a 7 percent profit.”

More importantly, the agency imposes the 7 percent limit before federal income

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