LBIABULLHEAD CITY-Officials from the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport are encouraging local businesses, organizations and individuals to again help secure a federal air service grant for the Tri-State area.

The goal is to restore quality, scheduled airline service. The Mohave County Airport Authority (MCAA) is applying for a Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) grant of $750,000, to be matched with local pledges and contributions. The SCASDP is a grant program within the U.S. Department of Transportation designed to help small communities address air service and airfare issues.

MCAA President John Hastings noted that securing new scheduled air service throughout the country has become extremely competitive, both with and without grants. Airlines are often unwilling to risk new markets and negotiate different incentives, most of which are limited by federal law. But he added that the Laughlin/Bullhead pledges are revenue guarantees and might never be used if the service is successful.

Both financial pledge forms and letters of support will be collected by the MCAA and submitted as a group as part of the D.O.T application. Forms and suggested letters of support are also posted on the airport website, .

Additional information is available by contacting the airport administrative office at 928-754-2134.

“The short window of time to file an application for this grant opened recently and closes in July,” said Hastings. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the Tri-State area. It has the potential to be a major economic development driver for our region.”

Airport authority officials have met and/or negotiated with a number of airlines in recent years. Major airline service or branding with seamless connectivity at a major hub has been a priority. The airport is currently focusing on two scenarios, which are flights to and from Denver International Airport, or flights to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Each could provide connectivity not only to or from much of the country, but also much of the world.  Both year-round and seasonal service has been explored. Flights would benefit both leisure and business travelers.

The Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport is one of the busiest non-metropolitan passenger airports serving Arizona, Nevada and southeastern California. Although traditional scheduled service ended 14 years ago, daily commercial service to more than 130 cities in the U.S. and Canada is operated by Sun Country Airlines with Boeing 737s and Republic Airways with Embraer 190s, as scheduled, scheduled charter and charter flights for the Riverside Resort and Harrah’s Laughlin.  –