(Update) Dallas, Denver, Detroit; American, United and Delta. A federal grant announced today will be used to help attract more non-stop flights to and from Roanoke on those airlines. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has more:
Roanoke’s airport now has $750,000 in federal funding available it is ongoing efforts to attract service to new cities. The top goals, in order, are Dallas, Denver and Detroit. The funding announced today can help the airport provide financial incentives for American, United and Delta to begin non-stop service between those cities and Roanoke. Local business groups and governments have pledged a matching $750,000 to connect ROA with more major airline hubs.
News release: WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Congressman Bob Goodlatte announced $750,000 in federal funding to help the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission bring new non-stop service from Roanoke Regional Airport to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, Denver, Colorado, and/or Detroit, Michigan. The Commission can use the funds for a revenue guarantee, a marketing program, and fee waivers. This effort was a community collaboration where the Roanoke Regional Chamber and the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce worked with local businesses, who are frequent users of Roanoke Regional Airport, to secure pledges to match these funds. The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission led the process to secure the public sector funding.
“Roanoke Regional Airport is vital to the economic health of the entire region and Virginia as a whole. We are proud to announce these grant dollars that will ensure the airport continues to offer flights that attract tourism and business and offer Virginians more travel options,” the Senators and Congressman said. “Congratulations to the Airport Commission and the local Chambers that worked so hard together to secure these funds.”
“The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission is thrilled to have been awarded a Small Community Air Service Development Grant. We sincerely appreciate the support from the community and our stakeholders, including Sens. Kaine and Warner and Rep. Goodlatte. We are hopeful that given two and a half’s years of passenger growth, these funds will help secure additional service to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver and/or Detroit. Air service is a critical component for economic development and we feel this is a significant step in the right direction,” Tim Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport, said.
“Better connectivity from ROA will open new markets throughout the country for existing businesses and help attract new investment in the Roanoke region. We are excited to see how this grant will improve service from ROA, and we appreciate the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission’s commitment to supporting our community’s needs and economic growth,” Joyce Waugh, Roanoke Regional Chamber President & CEO, said.
“Collaborative efforts such as this support existing business travel needs, ensure our region remains attractive to new business, and create new economic opportunities. We look forward to continuing to work with our regional partners and our elected representatives to bring more opportunity to rural areas in Virginia’s Blue Ridge,” Sheri Winesett, Botetourt Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said.
The funding was awarded through the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) under the Department of Transportation. These funds help smaller communities address air service access and high fares.