The US Department of Transportation has awarded nearly $10 million in grants to 12 small- and medium-sized airports to attract new air service.
The Small Community Air Service Development (SCASD) grants will support revenue guarantees, marketing and, in some cases, fees for new routes aimed at expanding air service to the airports across the country, the DOT says in a notice issued on 10 July. The grants are for fiscal year 2017, as the last year grants were awarded was 2016.
The grants to Augusta (Georgia), Bakersfield (California), Casper (Wyoming), Fairbanks (Alaska), Farmington (New Mexico), La Crosse (Wisconsin), Lincoln (Nebraska), Rapid City (South Dakota), Roanoke (Virginia), Sioux City (Iowa), Tulsa (Oklahoma) and Wenatchee (Washington) were all backed by airlines, though no carriers committed to adding the proposed services.
Of the nine airports that received SCASD grants in 2016, Amarillo, Billings, Missoula and Sun Valley have landed the new routes they sought. Alaska Airlines has added flights to Sun Valley from its Portland (Oregon) hub, and American Airlines has added flights to Amarillo from Phoenix, and to Billings and Missoula from Dallas/Fort Worth.
Alaska supported Tulsa for its SCASD grant this year. The airport is seeking new nonstop service to Seattle Tacoma on the carrier.
American supported applications from six grant winners. The Oneworld carrier will consider new service to August from Washington National; Bakersfield, Lincoln and Roanoke from Dallas/Fort Worth; and Fairbanks and Rapid City from Phoenix.
Utah-based SkyWest Airlines supported applications from five grant winners. The regional carrier will consider adding service to Casper from Phoenix for American; Farmington from either Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix or Salt Lake City for either American, Delta Air Lines or United Airlines; La Crosse from Detroit, Newark, New York JFK or LaGuardia, or Philadelphia for American, Delta or United; Sioux City to Denver for United; and Wenatchee to San Francisco for United.
La Crosse says service to Detroit as Delta Connection is its preferred new market, in its application.
United supported applications from both Augusta and Fairbanks. It will consider adding flights to Augusta from Washington Dulles, and to Fairbanks from one of its western hubs that include Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Brownsville (Texas), Elmira (New York), Florence (South Carolina) and Shreveport (Louisiana) have also received grants to support existing air service or additional frequencies.
Source: Cirium Dashboard