Following Spanberger Push, Richmond International Airport Awarded $1 Million to Expand Nonstop Service for Virginians

The Federal Award will Allow Richmond International Airport to Offer Daily, Nonstop Service from Richmond to Seattle

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced that — after her office sent a joint letter of support with U.S. Representatives Jennifer McClellan (D-VA-04) and Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) — Richmond International Airport (RIC) has received a $1 million federal grant to provide Virginians with nonstop service from Richmond to Seattle.

This grant funding is made possible through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Small Community Air Service Development Program, which was established by Congress to help smaller communities address air service and airfare issues. Specifically, this award will allow RIC to offer daily, nonstop service between Richmond and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Currently, RIC offers nonstop service to Los Angeles and San Francisco, but it has no nonstop service to Seattle — which is the third largest hub airport on the West Coast and is almost 700 miles north of San Francisco. This federal award will also provide needed connectivity to Alaska, Hawaii, and western Canada, as well as significantly reduce travel time, improve competition, and potentially reduce air fares.

“Richmond International Airport serves more than three million travelers each year — many of whom live in Virginia’s Seventh District. Not only will this funding offer new nonstop flights to expand the travel options available to Virginians, it will strengthen our local economy,” said Spanberger. “This award will help Richmond International Airport better serve Virginia travelers and fulfill the mission to move people, business, and commerce to advance the region. I was proud to join with my colleagues and fellow Virginians, Representatives McClellan and Wittman, alongside our community partners to make the case for Richmond International Airport to receive this funding — and I’m excited to see these funds head home to Virginia.”

The application for this federal award was submitted jointly by the Capital Region Airport Commission, ChamberRVA, the Greater Richmond Partnership, and Richmond Region Tourism.

“Richmond International Airport (RIC) is grateful to be named a recipient of a $1 million Small Community Air Service Development Program grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Airport plans to use this significant funding to help obtain nonstop service to Seattle, Washington, which will provide greater connectivity and access between the people and businesses of the Richmond region and the Pacific Northwest as well as to beyond points in Alaska and western Canada,” said Perry J. Miller, A.A.E., I.A.P., President and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Commission. “I also appreciate the strong support from our Congressional delegation, Senators Warner and Kaine and Representatives McClellan, Wittman, and Spanberger, who are staunch advocates for the Airport and for air service for Virginia’s Capital Region.”

BACKGROUND

According to DOT, the Small Community Program is unique in that it encourages and affords communities the opportunity to develop their own solutions to their air service problems based on their particular needs and circumstances. By providing communities the opportunity to develop and implement air service projects tailored to their individual needs, the program aims to maximize the potential for success in the communities’ endeavors. Since the program’s inception, DOT has sought to maximize the number of participating communities, promote geographic diversity of the selections, and support a variety of solutions to the problems identified by applicants in order to provide a wide range of approaches for dealing with the challenges faced by similarly-situated communities.

Click here for more information about the Small Community Air Service Development Program.

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