Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that on July 11, 2009 the United States Department of Transportation issued an order inviting proposals from communities interested in obtaining a federal grant under the Small Community Air Service Development Program (Small Community Program) to address air service and airfare problems in their communities. Grant proposals must be submitted no later than 5pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), on August 28, 2009.
The Small Community Program was first established under Public Law 106-181 and was reauthorized under P.L. 108-176. The purpose of the program is to provide financial assistance to small communities to help them enhance their air service. Eligible applicants are those communities that:
1) are served by an airport that was not larger than a small hub airport as classified by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) CY 1997 enplanement data; and
2) have insufficient air service or unreasonably high airfares.
Grant awards are limited to a maximum of 40 awards in each year that the program is funded. Individual grants for the past three years have ranged from $20,000 to about $1.6 million. Funds could be used for a variety of purposes including: to fund advertising or promotional activities relating to enhancing air service to the community; to conduct an assessment of existing air services and costs for deploying new dedicated air service development staff; or to provide financial incentives to air carriers in conjunction with their provision of air services.
According to the USDOT Order, applicants must first register with www.grants.gov before submitting an Application for Federal Domestic Assistance (SF424), a standard federal government grant application form, and must include their proposals as an attachment to the SF424. An application will not be deemed complete until and unless all required materials are filed by the August 28, 2009, deadline. Communities are reminded to register with Grants.gov early in the application period since the mandatory grants.gov registration process can take up to three weeks to complete.
“This is a good opportunity especially for the purpose of airport improvement and enhancement in our Territory” concluded Faleomavaega