U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $14.8 Million in Grants to Help Small Communities Improve Air Service

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

September 29, 2023 (press release) –

Friday, September 29, 2023

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that it will award $14.8 million from the Small Community Air Service Development Program to help 20 communities in 16 states develop solutions to their local air service needs. These federal grants assist small communities across the country with maintaining and building air service options. 

“Air service to small communities is crucial to regional economies, which is why we are proud that these grants will help improve air service in 20 smaller communities across 16 states,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.  

Since the inception of the program, DOT has invested in more than 460 community-led projects. Grants are used to provide financial incentives for service, conduct studies on the possibilities of expanded service, and carry out marketing programs to promote existing local service, as well as address other challenges small  airports may experience. The financial assistance helps communities establish first air services, restore lost service, and provides support to establish new routes to improve connectivity and allow people in the community to fly more easily and affordably.  

The 20 communities receiving grant awards this year are: 

State Community Federal Funding
CA Monterey $750,000
IA Dubuque $1,500,000
ID Idaho Falls $950,000
IL Peoria $500,000
IL Springfield $250,000
IN South Bend $750,000
IN Ft. Wayne $600,000
LA Monroe $500,000
MI Traverse City $750,000
MS Gulfport-Biloxi $365,000
MT Billings $1,000,000
ND Fargo $500,000
NY Ithaca $750,000
PA Wilkes-Barre $500,000
TN Chattanooga $750,000
TN Tri-Cities $900,000
TX Del Rio $1,200,000
VA Lynchburg $600,000
VA Richmond $1,000,000
WA Yakima $700,000
  Total $14,815,000

The Department received 48 applications from 26 states, requesting a total of more than $34 million. 

The selected communities are contributing financial resources to supplement the federal support, 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-2023-0037. 

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