Provo lands grant to market airport to airlines
By Donald W. MEyers
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Oct 26, 2010 07:44PM
Updated 8 hours ago Updated Oct 26, 2010 10:46PM
Provo • The city has landed a $500,000 grant from the federal Department of Transportation to make Provo Municipal Airport more attractive to commercial airlines.
“It is a gigantic step toward air service [in Provo],” said Mayor John R. Curtis of the grant, awarded by the department’s Small Community Air Service Program.
The city was one of 20 seeking a portion of $7 million set aside for grants.
Provo wants to get regular airline service at the airport, which serves Utah Valley University’s aviation program and private pilots. Million Air also operates charter flights the airport, which is a backup landing site for Salt Lake City International Airport.
The city recently conducted a survey of Provo residents about where they fly. City officials took that data to airline trade shows to find carriers that might provide service between Provo and some of those destinations.
Curtis, who went to Washington to lobby for the grant, said one airline would consider providing passenger service from Provo if the city secured the grant. He declined to name the airline.
Airport manager Steve Gleason sees the airport becoming a regional hub, allowing people to get to major cities in the West. Some grant money will be used to expand airport parking, he said. The rest will be used for the type of improvements airlines generally request as a condition of serving a city.
Gleason said grant funds will be augmented by airport-funded improvements.
The grant is the city’s most recent effort to upgrade the airport. Provo has obtained federal approval to install air-traffic-control radar, which will allow controllers in Salt Lake City to monitor air traffic in Utah County.
Gleason said the radar station will begin collecting data in December, and should be certified as operational in June 2011.
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