Payments for Small Community Air Service Development

To help small communities enhance their air service and increase access to the national transportation system.

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Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: All of the awards were made to communities proposing revenue guarantees, or revenue guarantees with marketing support, as a means to attract new service or to restore lost service.

Fiscal Year 2017: N/A.

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Mobile Airport Authority $ 1,000,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
Texarkana Airport Authority $ 884,722   2021-09-132027-01-08
Redding, City Of $ 760,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
Gunnison, County Of $ 600,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
St Augustine - St Johns County Airport Authority $ 700,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport $ 1,000,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
Kalamazoo, County Of $ 1,000,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
Duluth, City Of $ 750,000   2021-09-102027-01-08
Springfield, City Of $ 750,000   2021-09-132027-01-08
Helena Regional Airport Authority $ 1,004,743   2021-09-132027-01-08

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Completed FY2016 selection process: $5,150,000 was obligated for FY grants. Fiscal Year 2017: N/A. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants for specified use, provided on a reimbursable basis.

Grant funds can be used to cover a variety of expenses depending on the approved project.

For example, funds can be expended for marketing, advertising or promotional activities associated with current or new or existing air service, studies designed to measure air service deficiencies, or to measure traffic loss or diversion to other communities; and employment or use of consulting firms, universities, public relations firms, and new, dedicated air service development staff.

In addition, grant funds may be used for financial incentives, including revenue guarantees to cover the air carrier's prospective operating loss, or to ground service providers in providing access to air transportation services.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply: 1.

The airport serving the community is not larger than a small hub airport, according to FAA hub classifications effective on the date of service of the Department?s RFP Order (for 2016, March 28, 2016), or as of calendar year 1997, the airport serving the community was not larger than a small hub airport; 2.

The community has insufficient air carrier service or unreasonably high air fares, 3.

The airport serving the community presents characteristics, such as geographic diversity or unique circumstances that demonstrate the need for, and feasibility of, grant assistance from the Small Community Program; 4.

An applicant may not receive an additional grant to support the same project from a previous grant; 5.

An applicant may not receive an additional grant, prior to the completion of its previous grant; 6.

No more than 4 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, from the same State may be selected to participate in the program in any fiscal year; and 7.

No more than 40 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, may be selected to participate in the program in each year for which the funds are appropriated. In addition to the statute, the Department applies the following eligibility conditions: Communities without existing air service.

Communities that do not currently have commercial air service are eligible,. Essential Air Service communities.

Small communities that meet the basic SCASDP criteria and currently receive subsidized air service under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program are eligible to apply for SCASDP .

However, grant awards to EAS-subsidized communities are limited to marketing or promotion projects that support existing or newly subsidized EAS.

Grant funds will not be authorized for EAS-subsidized communities to support any new competing air service.

Furthermore, no funds will be authorized to support additional flights by EAS carriers or changes to those carriers? existing schedules.

These restrictions are necessary to avoid conflicts with the mandate of the EAS program. Alternate Essential Air Service communities.

Small communities that meet the basic SCASDP criteria and currently receive assistance under the Alternate Essential Air Service Pilot Program (49 U.S.C.

41745(a)) are eligible to apply for SCASDP funds.

Since the Alternate EAS Pilot Program is a substitute/alternative to traditional EAS, the Department considers applications from communities receiving assistance under the Alternate EAS Pilot Program only for marketing or promotion projects.

If the community is already receiving Department support for marketing projects, per the community?s proposal under the Alternate EAS Pilot Program, the community?s project would not be considered for a SCASDP grant. Consortium applications.

The statute permits individual communities and consortia of communities to apply for grant awards under this program.

An application from a consortium of communities must be one that seeks to facilitate the efforts of the communities working together toward a joint grant project.

In other words, the application must set forth one grant project, with one joint objective, and establish one entity to ensure that the joint objective is accomplished according to the terms of a grant agreement.

For example, several communities surrounding an airport may apply together to improve air services at that airport, with a joint objective of securing new or additional service to that airport.

Or, surrounding airports may apply together in support of a regional plan to lower fares or reverse a decline in traffic.

Multiple Applications: A community may file only one application for a grant, either individually or as part of a consortium. Prior grant recipients.

Communities or members of a consortia, that were awarded grants in previous years and want to apply for a grant this year should be aware that they are precluded from seeking new funds for projects for which they have already received an award under the Small Community Program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The legal sponsor of the proposed project must be a government entity. If the applicant is a public-private partnership, a public government member of the organization must be identified as the community?s sponsor to receive project cost reimbursements. A community may designate only one government entity as the legal sponsor, even if it is applying as a consortium that consists of two or more local government entities. Private organizations may not be designated as the legal sponsor of a grant under the Small Community Program. The community has the responsibility to ensure that the recipient of any funding has the legal authority under state and local laws to carry out all aspects of the grant.


Communities must apply for the grant program by submitting a project proposal with required data to justify its proposal in accordance with the Department-issued Request for Proposals. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. A request for proposals (RFP) soliciting applications from eligible communities is issued each year. The RFP can be accessed on the internet through Additionally, the solicitation is published in the Federal Register and served on the Council of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the National Governors Association, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, the Association of County Executives, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and the Airports Council International-North America (ACI).

Award Procedures

Applications will be evaluated according to factors established in the RFP and under the guidance of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Public Law 112-95, and the Vision 100-Century in Aviation Reauthorization Act, Public Law 108-176.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), reauthorized by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Public Law 106-181, 49 U.S.C 41743.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Can vary from year to year. However, the target is to award grants within 120 days from the established application deadline.


Not Applicable.


Application procedures are repeated each year. However, grant recipients are precluded by statute from seeking additional grants in support of the same project. A community can only have one Small Community Program grant at any time. 49 U.S.C. Section 41743(c)(4).

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The period of time for awards will vary with the complexity of the project. Minimum grant duration is one year. The statute limits use of grant funds for air carrier subsidy to a maximum period of three years. The same limitation applies to other forms of ongoing support for air carrier programs. Financial assistance is provided on a reimbursable basis; cash advances will not be made. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funding is paid to a community on a reimbursable basis; therefore, a community is required to make expenditures for project implementation under the program prior to seeking reimbursement from the Department. Eligible project implementation costs are reimbursable from grant funds only for services or property delivered during the grant term. Reimbursement rates are calculated as a percentage of the total federal funds requested divided by the federal funds plus the local cash contribution (which is not refundable). The percentage is determined by: (SCASDP Grant Amount) ¸ (SCASDP Grant Amount + Local Cash Contribution + State Cash Contribution, if applicable). Payments/expenditures in forms other than cash (e.g., in-kind) are not reimbursable.

Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly progress reports, and a final report are required.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Each grantee must submit quarterly reports on the progress made during the previous quarter in implementing its grant project.

In addition, each community will be required to submit a final report on its project to the Department, prior to release of the final 10% of the grant funding.

Agency requires reimbursement request using electronic form that self calculates prorated government obligation.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. SCASDP also is subject to the A-123 review process.


The grant recipient is expected to retain all documents relevant to the grant award for a period of 3 years from completion of all projects undertaken pursuant to the Grant Agreement and receipt of final reimbursement from the Treasury.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 16 $5,150,000; FY 17 Estimate Not Available; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range: $50,000 to $1,000,000 Average: $450,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

49 U.S.C. 41743; 14 CFR 302.12 (Rule 12); 49 CFR 1.25a(b); 49 CFR Part 18; Public Law 106-181; Public Law 108-176; Public Law 108-477, Public Law 112 - 95.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Brooke Chapman 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE W86-307, Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Email: Phone: (202) 366-0577 Fax: (202) 366-7638.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

There are two categories of selection criteria: Priority Selection Criteria and Secondary Selection Criteria. Applications that meet one or more of the priority selection criteria will be viewed more favorably than those that do not meet any priority selection criteria. Priority Selection Criteria: 1. Air fares are higher than the national average air fares for all communities ? The Department will compare the local community?s air fares to the national average air fares for all similar markets. Communities with market air fares significantly higher than the national average air fares in similar markets will receive priority consideration. The Department calculates these fares using data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Airline Origin and Destination Survey data. The Department evaluates all fares in all relevant markets that serve a SCASDP community and compares the SCASDP community fares to all fares in similar markets across the country. Each SCASDP applicant?s air fares are computed as a percentage above or below the national averages. The report compares a community?s air fares to the average for all other similar markets in the country that have similar density (passenger volume) and similar distance characteristics (market groupings). All calculations are based on 12-month ended periods to control for seasonal variation of fares. 2. The community or consortium will provide a portion of the cost of the activity from local sources other than airport revenue sources ? DOT will consider whether a community or consortium proposes local funding for the proposed project. Applications providing proportionately higher levels of cash contributions from sources other than airport revenues will be viewed more favorably. Applications that provide multiple levels of contributions (state, local, airport, cash and in-kind contributions) will also be viewed more favorably. 3. The community or consortium has established or will establish a public-private partnership to facilitate air carrier service to the public ? DOT will consider a community or consortium?s commitment to facilitate air carrier service in the form of a public-private partnership. Applications that describe in detail how the partnership will actively participate in the implementation of the proposed project will be viewed more favorably. 4. The assistance will provide material benefits to a broad segment of the traveling public, including businesses, educational institutions, and other enterprises, whose access to the national air transportation system is limited ? DOT will consider whether the proposed project would provide, to a broad segment of the community?s traveling public, important benefits relevant to the community. Examples include service that would offer new or additional access to a connecting hub airport, service that would provide convenient travel times for both business and leisure travelers that would help obviate the need to drive long distances, and service that would offer lower fares. 5. The assistance will be used in a timely manner ? The Department will consider whether a proposed project provides a well-defined strategic plan and reasonable timetable for use of the grant funds. In the Department?s experience, a reasonable timetable for use of grant funds includes a year to complete studies, two years for marketing and promotion of the airport, community, carrier, or destination, and three years for projects that target a revenue guarantee, subsidy, or other financial incentives. Applicants are asked to describe how their projects can be accomplished within this timetable, including whether the airport and proposed air service provider have the requisite authorities and certifications necessary to carry out the proposed projects. In addition, because of this emphasis placed on timely use of funds, applicants proposing new service are asked to describe the airport and whether it can support the proposed service, including whether the airport holds, or intends to apply for, an airport operating certificate issued under 14 C.F.R. Part 139. Air service providers proposed for the new service must have met or be able to meet in a reasonably short period of time, all Department requirements for air service certification, including safety and economic authorities. 6. Multiple communities cooperate to submit a regional or multistate application to consolidate air service into one regional airport ? DOT will consider whether a proposed project involves a consortium effort to consolidate air service into one regional airport. This is a new statutory priority criterion, added pursuant to Section 429 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95). Secondary Selection Criteria: 1. Innovation ? DOT will consider whether an application proposes new and creative solutions to the transportation issues facing the community, including: ? the extent to which the applicant?s proposed solution(s) to solving the problem(s) is new or innovative, including whether the proposed project utilizes or encourages intermodal or regional solutions to connect passengers to the community?s air service (i.e., cost-effective inter/intra city passenger bus service, marketing of intermodal surface transportation options also available to air travelers, or projects that have a positive impact on travel and tourism); and ? whether the proposed project, if successfully implemented, could serve as a working model for other communities. 2. Community Participation ? DOT will consider whether an application has broad community participation, including: ? whether the proposed project has broad community support; and ? the community?s demonstrated commitment to and participation in the proposed project. 3. Location ? DOT will consider the location and characteristics of a community: ? the geographic location of each applicant, including the community?s proximity to larger centers of air service and low-fare service alternatives; ? the population and business activity, as well as the relative size of each community; and ? whether the community?s proximity to an existing or prior grant recipient could adversely affect either its proposal or the project undertaken by the other recipient. 4. Other Factors ? DOT will also consider: ? whether the proposed project clearly addresses the applicant?s stated problems; ? the community?s existing level of air service and whether that service has been increasing or decreasing; ? whether the applicant has a plan to provide any necessary continued financial support for the proposed project after the requested grant award expires; ? the grant amount requested compared with total funds available for all communities; ? the proposed federal grant amount requested compared with the local share offered; ? any letters of intent from airline planning departments or intermodal surface transportation providers on behalf of applications that are specifically intended to enlist new or expanded air service or surface transportation service in support of the air service in the community; ? whether the applicant has plans to continue with the proposed project if it is not self-sustaining after the grant award expires; and ? equitable and geographic distribution of available funds. Full community participation is a key goal of this program as demonstrated by the statute?s focus on local contributions and active participation in the project. Therefore, applications that demonstrate broad community support will be more attractive. For example, communities providing proportionately higher levels of cash contributions from other than airport revenues will have more attractive proposals. Communities that provide multiple levels of contributions (state, local, airport, cash and in-kind contributions) also will have more attractive proposals. Similarly, communities that demonstrate participation in the development and execution of the proposed air service project will enhance the attractiveness of their proposals.

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