Federal funding announced to bring more non-stop service to Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - The Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport announces federal funding to bring more non-stop service to Roanoke.

U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Congressman Bob Goodlatte announced Tuesday at the Roanoke Regional Chamber that $750,000 in federal funding will benefit the airport in bringing non-stop service to Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and/or Detroit, Michigan.

The Roanoke Regional Chamber and the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce worked with individuals who are frequent flyers at the Roanoke Regional Airport, such as local businesses, to gather pledges to match these funds.

These funds will help the Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport Commission and the Commission can use these funds for "revenue guarantee, a marketing program and fee waivers," according to a release.

During a press conference, Airport Director, Tim Bradshaw said this will be important for economic development.

"When companies are looking to locate their businesses one of the top factors they look at is having air service in the community," he said.

Airport officials say American Airlines have written a letter of support for a flight to Dallas. Negotiations with the airline are in the works.

The flights won't be added overnight but Bradshaw believes they'll be able to offer new flights within the year.

"The economy is doing really well here," he told WDBJ7. "We've got a lot of growth going on, we've got a lot of demand, our numbers have been up at their airport. So I think our negotiations with the airlines will be successful."

The funds were awarded through the Small Community Air Service Development Program under the Department of Transportation.

"Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport is vital to the economic health of the entire region and Virginia as a whole. We are proud to announce these grant dollars that will ensure the airport continues to offer flights that attract tourism and business and offer Virginians more travel options,” the Senators and Congressman said. “Congratulations to the Airport Commission and the local Chambers that worked so hard together to secure these funds.”