Airline Geeks - Joey Gerardi

The Small Community Air Service Development Program is another government-funded program that is used to provide the funding smaller communities need to develop their air service portfolios. Generally, it is not as well-known compared to the widely-used Essential Air Service (EAS) program.

This program is meant to benefit communities and assist with the implementation of the air service initiatives proposed in their grant applications. Essentially, it provides mostly revenue guarantees, so airlines will be more willing to start new services; that way they can develop the route enough to where they won’t need a grant and will become economically self-sustainable. But, there are a couple of basic rules that are laid out in the program;

  • The airport serving the community or city is not larger than a small hub airport, which is determined using the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s most recently published classification.
  • The airport has insufficient air carrier service on a specific market/route or unreasonably high airfares, the latter of which most of these airports are.
  • The airport presents characteristics, such as geographic diversity or unique circumstances, that demonstrate the need for, and feasibility of, the Small Community Program.
  • If awarded a grant, An applicant may not receive an additional grant from the federal government (local or state governments are allowed to), to support the same project more than once in a 10-year period, except in certain circumstances.
  • And finally, an applicant may not receive an additional grant prior to the completion of its previous grant.

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