REDMOND, OR -- In the past few of months, two airlines have announced plans to bring three new flights to the Redmond airport in the fall and United Airlines began direct service to Chicago. Airport Director Zach Bass says more additions could be on the horizon, "A commercial airport should always be looking for new destinations, as long as the region and customer base can support it."
Bass is applying for a $900,000 federal grant that would provide a revenue guarantee for the first two years of a new service, "Historically, whenever an airline moves into a new market, it takes about two years for the customers to get used to that," Bass tells KBND News, "Basically, if they go below a certain mark during those first two years, then this grant will help pay them to get back to a profitable situation." He adds, "We’ve actually been very successful in the past, with what we call Small Community Air Service Development Grants from the federal Department of Transportation. We’ve actually used it four times in the last 15 years; that’s how we got Salt Lake City Service, that’s how we got more service into San Francisco, that’s how we got Phoenix, and also how we got L.A." A revenue guarantee was not used to secure the recently added Las Vegas, Chicago and Phoenix-Mesa routes.
Grant requests must be submitted for a specific destination, and Bass says he has a location already in mind, "We’re in the process of putting a grant in for San Jose direct flights." And, "Alaska Airlines has already signed a letter of support, that they would take advantage of this, probably, if it occurred." But, don't pack your bags, yet. He says it's a long process. He doesn't expect to hear until fall whether Roberts Field is approved for the USDOT grant, and he says a San Jose, California flight wouldn't take off until next summer, at the earliest.