U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $9.9 Million in Grants to Help Small Communities Improve Air Service
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $9.925 million from the Small Community Air Service Development Program to help 16 communities in 16 states develop their own solutions to local air service needs. The Department received 53 applications from 35 states.
“This Administration is committed to ensuring that rural communities are not neglected and have access to the air services needed to be competitive in today’s economy,” said Secretary Chao.
Since its inception, the awards have helped over 300 communities develop projects tailored to their own air service needs, such as providing financial incentives to carriers, conducting studies on the possibilities of expanded service, and carrying out marketing programs to promote existing local service, among other challenges small communities and their airports may experience.
The communities receiving grant awards this year are:
Fairbanks, Alaska ($750,000); Bakersfield, Calif. ($500,000); Augusta, Ga. ($800,000); Sioux City, Iowa ($650,000); Shreveport, La. ($300,000); Lincoln, Neb. ($750,000); Farmington, N.M. ($850,000); Elmira, N.Y. ($275,000); Tulsa, Okla. ($750,000); Florence, S.C. ($600,000); Rapid City, S.D. ($700,000); Brownsville, Texas ($250,000); Roanoke, Va. ($750,000); Wenatchee, Wash. ($750,000); La Crosse, Wis. ($750,000); and Casper, Wyo. ($500,000).
The selected communities are contributing additional local financial resources to supplement the federal support. In addition, many communities have pledged in-kind contributions in further support of their air service initiatives, reflecting a commitment that is important to the potential success of the proposed initiatives. Nearly all of the communities have established robust public-private partnerships to enhance community participation and facilitate access to air services, provided a specific plan and timetable for using their grant funds in a timely manner, and many have provided letters of support from interested air carriers.
Complete community proposals and the Department’s final order are available at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2017-0155.