BOISE -- Flying from Boise to New York, Washington D.C. or Atlanta could be a reality in the coming years that is if Boise can get a grant to help make it happen.
Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp is hoping Boise might be a good candidate for a Community Air Service Development Grant-one that could potentially open up a direct flight to the East Coast.
“We have lost significant air service over the last five years, we can show a compelling case for adding more service in our market,” said Hupp. “So it's really a great opportunity for Boise.”
However, the process takes a little bit of community help. According to Hupp, step one is applying for the grant and getting the community to put up donations. Step two is to have a carrier like United or Delta to bring a non-stop flight from New York or Washington D.C. to Boise.
“So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive and we are more than half way to our goal,” said Hupp.
Their goal is to raise up to $200,000 in contributions as a part of the grant application.
“It’s just part of making it easy to do business here in Idaho,” said Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Connors.
Connors said in addition to their $20,000 donation, they have $100,000 in promised contributions raised.
“So the community is putting some skin in the game,” Connors said.
Connors also says businesses in the area want this opportunity. “If you talk to businesses and you ask them right now here in 2013 what's your biggest issue? Almost universally air service will be one of their top one or two issues.”
If Boise is accepted for this grant-they would get $700,000 to put toward start up costs for a new airline to start operating at the Boise Airport.
Hupp also said a carrier won’t come to Boise if they don’t think they can be successful long term.
“We all want people to be able to get to and from Boise, it's part of the quality of life of living here and while we have great air service I think it's important that we are always looking forward for new opportunities,” said Hupp.
If you are interested in helping with the effort you are encouraged to call the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce at 472-5205 to learn more. The deadline for the grant is next week