October 26, 2010

Fuhriman, Crapo Announce Grant to Assist in Bringing New Westbound Air Service to Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls - Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman and U.S. Senator Mike Crapo announced today that Idaho Falls has been awarded a $500,000 federal grant that will be used to establish additional air service westbound from eastern Idaho. Mayor Fuhriman and Senator Crapo worked with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the Department's Small Community Air Service Development Program on the grant, which helps address cost and airfare competitiveness for airlines offering service from smaller communities.

The Small Community Air Service Development Program Grant is intended to provide a minimum revenue guarantee for an air carrier in any new start-up service for a short period of time, as well as marketing and start-up cost assistance. The community is also asked to participate in the initial costs of establishing new service. United Airlines has expressed interest in a new direct route to San Francisco using the grant program.

"Establishing westbound air service is critical to the Idaho Falls business and travel community and it is our hope that once this link becomes established, we can then focus on replacing direct air connections between Idaho Falls and Boise," said Crapo, who wrote Secretary LaHood on behalf of the city's efforts. Idaho Falls Aviation Director Len Nelson adds that "We are pleased with the announcement of grant support to Idaho Falls. This gives us another tool to help attract westbound service for our area. We appreciate the efforts of Sen. Crapo's office in securing this grant."

Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman also notes "I can only echo the remarks I made almost two weeks ago in our joint press conference with Senator Crapo, to once again thank him for assisting us here locally in securing this federal grant."