Congressman Jared Huffman has helped the Humboldt County Department of Aviation secure $850,000 in grant funds from the US Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) to be used to attract additional air service for a northbound route.
The SCASDP grant program is designed to help small communities address air service and airfare challenges, and Humboldt County was last awarded SCASDP funding in 2012. After many extensions, the county utilized these funds to attract and launch flight service with United Airlines between the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport (ACV) and Denver International Airport (DEN) in 2019. Service to DEN has consistently been one of ACV’s highest performing markets in terms of the average seats sold. The success of the DEN route in particular placed the county in a strong position to obtain additional funds to help attract new air service to northern states.
“This time we will focus on attracting service to either Seattle International Airport (SEA) or Portland International Airport (PDX),” said Cody Roggatz, Director of Aviation for the County of Humboldt. “With current challenges the airlines are facing in the marketplace, including pilot shortages and high fuel prices, this grant will provide vital assistance to help us leverage our recruitment efforts.”
SCASDP funds will be used to create a Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG), which is used to help an airline mitigate financial risks of undertaking a new route, in addition to marketing efforts for a new route once one is determined. There is a local community match required for this grant of up to $400,000, of which $175,000 has been secured by the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC). Additional funds must be raised for the remaining $225,000 to utilize the full $850,000 SCASDP grant. The Department of Aviation anticipates those fundraising efforts will commence later this year.
“Investments in a lifeline airport like ACV are essential for the safety of the travelling public and to the economies of rural areas,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “I’m glad to have delivered this funding, which will help fuel our local economy and boost safety, commerce, and tourism in air travel.”
The additional funding for an MRG comes on the heels of a July announcement regarding significant funding that Congressman Huffman helped secure to improve the runways, electrical and lighting systems at ACV.
“Congressman Huffman recently secured over $13 million in federal funds to make infrastructure improvements to ACV. With this additional $850,000 in SCASDP funding, he has put us in a better position to expand air travel service and bolster economic growth,” said Virginia Bass, Fourth District Supervisor and Chair of the Board. “The Congressman’s many efforts to improve our airports and boost our economy are so appreciated, and I would like to thank him for his ongoing support.”
For more information and updates on the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport, please visit the Humboldt County Aviation web page.