WASHINGTON D.C.– The Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport is one of nine small community airports in the United States that has been awarded a grant from the Federal Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP).
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that a total of $5.15 million dollars were handed out in grant funding.
The Bullhead City-based airport and two other communities received the largest individual grants– $750,000 each. The other two communities receiving the largest grants were the airports in Billings, Mont. and Amarillo, Tex.
The other communities receiving funding through the SCAPSDP grant were: Stockton, Calif. ($650,000), Missoula, Mont. ($600,000), Hailey, Idaho ($500,000), Santa Fe, N.M. ($500,000), Inyokern, Calif. ($450,000), and Port Angeles, Wash. ($200,000).
The grants are designed to help small airports initiate scheduled air service to their communities. Officials with the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport have been working for many years to lure an air carrier, but have so far been unsuccessful. Executives believe the airport, which supports several charter air programs for two casinos in Laughlin, has a built-in customer base because of the successful charter programs to sustain a scheduled air carrier. Despite the numbers, the air carriers have been unwilling to risk the money needed to initiate service.
Officials believe the $750,000 grant, and more than $500,000 in pledged support from the community, will be a tremendous enticement for some airlines. The pledged support was part of the requirement to obtain the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is supportive of expanding air service across the country.
“Robust, dependable air service plays an important role in every community’s ability to connect to the national and global economies,” said Secretary Foxx. “SCASDP has a tremendous record of making a lasting impact, and I know these communities will be our next set of success stories.”
Competitive applications demonstrate community and air carrier support, along with investment from other sources such as public-private partnerships. This year’s awardees met all of those criteria, committing more than $3 million in local financial resources in addition to other in-kind contributions.
Since the program’s inception in 2002, SCASDP awards have helped almost 400 communities develop aviation projects tailored to local needs.