NEWPORT NEWS—The Newport News/Williamsburg Airport (PHF) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to receive an award of $847,646 for commercial air service recruitment and marketing.
USDOT administers the Small Community Air Service Program (SCASDP). The grant application, submitted in February 2021, proposed an economic development project to fund a minimum revenue guarantee and marketing expenses to recruit, initiate, and support new daily service from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).
“The 757 is one of the most underserved areas in the country despite access to two drivable airports,” said Peninsula Airport Commission Chairman Jay Joseph. “Efforts like the SCASDP help us to correct that problem. We are grateful for the tremendous amount of public and private support our community provided during the application process. We are confident that the joint/regional approach outlined in the application put us over the top in the USDOT’s eyes.”
The SCASDP is designed to help communities address air service deficiencies. Program grants may be used for revenue guarantees, marketing programs, start-up costs, and studies.
In February 2021, the Newport News Economic Development Authority—with concurrence from the cities of Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and Williamsburg as well as York and James City counties—approved pledging $600,000 of community matching funds to help secure the grant. Should an airline sign up with the airport to provide service, the money will then be used for the previously mentioned purposes and reimbursed under the terms of the grant.
“The SCASDP Grant Award provides a huge boost that will enable us to aggressively pursue Dulles service, with connections world-wide,” said Florence Kingston, director of Newport News Department of Development. “Our ability as a team to garner extensive community support and leverage community funding speaks to the strong demand for increased air service from Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. We are excited for the opportunity to provide enhanced air service to our citizens, the business community, and the military.”
The grant does not guarantee service. The Peninsula Airport Commission (PAC), in concert with Peninsula public and private economic development leadership, continues to engage with carriers servicing the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and many other markets.