Greater Binghamton Airport Wins DOT Air Service Grant
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that the Greater Binghamton Airport has been awarded a $550,000 grant under the Small Community Air Service Development Program. Supplemented by a local share, the grant will be used to assist airport officials in attracting new air service to BGM.
According to the grant description, BGM can use the funds in a number of ways to persuade an airline to start a new route including a revenue guarantee, a marketing campaign and/or fee waivers. The new service must be to a destination west of BGM and may be provided by an incumbent airline or a new entrant to the BGM market.
One destination that will be targeted initially is Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which has a three letter code designation of ORD. ORD is one of the busiest airports in the world and offers tremendous access to the Chicago Metro area and substantial connectivity to destinations throughout the world. Because of this, ORD is a favorite of the local business community and is the one that is most frequently requested by BGM’s local travelers.
“A direct connection to Chicago O'Hare International Airport was deemed a priority target after polling our business community”, said Carl R. Beardsley Jr., Broome County's Commissioner of Aviation. “With this grant in hand, our ability to secure service to Chicago O’Hare or another hub airport to our west has greatly improved.”
The Small Community Air Service Development Program began in 2002 with the purpose of assisting smaller communities like Binghamton in improving their local air service. Goals such as providing more air service options, better connectivity, and increased competition to generate more competitive fares are targeted by the program. In 2010, there were over 90 applicants requesting funding from this grant program. The Greater Binghamton Airport was one of only 19 recipients and the only one located in New York State. The value of the grant awarded to BGM was the 2nd highest in the country.
“We are very please when we heard the good news regarding the grant from Senator Schumer,” said Barbara J. Fiala, Broome County Executive. “With his support we are well situated to make air service improvements at the Binghamton Airport.”
The Greater Binghamton Airport is currently served by three carriers serving three destinations including United Express with flights into and out of Washington Dulles International Airport; arrivals and departures on Delta Air Lines to and from Detroit Metro; and US Airways Express service to the Philadelphia International Airport.