The federal government has awarded the Boise Airport $700,000 to help secure direct flights to the eastern U.S.
The airport applied for the Department of Transportation grant over the summer. A similar application last year was not successful.
Business and development leaders have made securing a Boise-to-Atlanta flight a top priority. When approached by the Boise Chamber, various companies pledged nearly $275,000 in matching funds.
Airport Director Rebecca Hupp calls the grant a “substantial step” in Boise’s quest to secure an East Coast flight. The airport is asking Delta to start the new service. Hupp says getting the grant was “essential” to making that happen.
The city says the majority of the funds are designated to offset the startup costs and risk associated with an airline starting the new route. Some of the money will also be used to market the new flights.
Chamber head Bill Connors said over the summer the distance between Boise and the eastern U.S. presents logistical challenges for airlines in an era of high fuel prices.
“It takes a big enough plane to fly that route,” he said. “It takes an awful lot of fuel to get out here, and fuel has become the second-largest expense for an airline.”
The airport says its grant was one of 16 awarded by the Department of Transportation, out of more than 50 applications.
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