The Small Community Program is designed to provide financial assistance to small communities in order to help them enhance their air service. The Department provides this assistance in the form of monetary grants that are disbursed on a reimbursable basis. The Department has up to $5.5 million available for FY 2015 grant awards to carry out this program. There is no limit on the amount of individual awards, and the amounts awarded will vary depending upon the features and merits of the selected proposals. In past years, the Department’s individual grant sizes have ranged from $20,000 to nearly $1.6 million.
Eligible applicants are small communities that meet the following statutory criteria:
1) As of calendar year 1997, the airport serving the community was not larger than a small hub airport, and it has insufficient air carrier service or unreasonably high air fares; and
2) 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.
No more than four 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. 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. Consortium applications: Both individual communities and consortia of communities are eligible for SCASDP funds. An application from a consortium of communities must be one that seeks to facilitate the efforts of the communities working together toward one joint grant project, with one joint objective, including the establishment of one entity to ensure that the joint objective is accomplished.
Multiple Applications: A community may file only one application for a grant, either individually or as part of a consortium.Communities without existing air service: Communities that do not currently have commercial air service are eligible for SCASDP funds. 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 funds. 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.
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