Magic Valley Airport works toward offering propose airline connection to Denver

Published: May. 29, 2019 at 9:16 PM MDT
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The Magic Valley Regional Airport is in the early stages of considering adding a new flight connection to Denver International Airport in an effort to provide more travel opportunities for the public.

On Tuesday, Twin Falls City Council moved forward to allow funding for a grant proposal. The cost is $7,500 coming from the Airport Reserve Funds. It will pay for the airport to enter in a contract with Sixel Consulting.

The agency will develop a U.S. DOT Small Community Air Service Grant Proposal that will be submitted to the U.S. Transportation Department. The deadline to submit the application is July 15.

Magic Valley airport Manager Bill Carberry said SkyWest is in favor of the proposes airline connection and will be writing a support letter included with the grant proposal.

"We got a growing market. I think SkyWest recognize that, " Carberry said. "I think the three jets that we have currently are probably enough capacity to handle the West Coast and the Rocky Mountain region which Salt Lake is strongest in. But Denver really has a lot of East Coast and Mid West connections and it would make that a little easier for our travelers."

If the grant is approved it will set the stage for a new United Airline route to Denver.

"We'll use those dollars for a contract with SkyWest United for that service," Carberry said. "It will be underwritten for a while if there's money loss for the start-up period. That they will have a revenue guarantee. We will be able to fulfill any loss of revenue that they have. That will be a big part of it."

Carberry said the grant application is a competitive one and they're aiming to apply for $800,000.

"We need a fair amount of local match contributions from our business communities as well as local governments when we put in the proposal," he said.

A report presented to City Council states the proposed grant could create "personal' and "economic growth" in the community, making it easier for travelers to have more options and visitors flying into the airport.