OGDEN — In a continued push to turn the city-owned airport into a viable commercial air provider, Ogden City is hunting a federal grant to bolster flights to three new destinations there.
The city administration is looking to apply for a $400,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant that would support commercial air service to three target destinations: Dallas, Denver and Seattle.
The grant, which comes from USDOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Program, would be augmented by a $100,000 match from the city. The Ogden City Council would be required to authorize the application submission.
In a letter to the council, Ogden Community and Economic Development Director Tom Christopulos said if the grant were awarded, $350,000 would be used for a “revenue guarantee fund” that would support initial operations for the new service and $150,000 would be used to market it.
Christopulos also said waiving airport fees for a year or possibly two, could be part of the incentive package offered to potential air carriers.
The Nevada-based budget airline has offered Ogden service to Mesa, Arizona since 2012. They began Los Angeles service in October, followed by flights to Las Vegas earlier this month. Allegiant flights to Oakland, California, are tentatively set for the first quarter of 2018 and the company is also considering service to Orlando, Florida.
On Nov. 14, the council allocated $100,000 to help Allegiant market the new routes. That money came on top of an earlier $500,000 contribution that’s being used as a revenue guarantee fund. Allegiant can access the fund when single Los Angeles flights generate less than $12,805 in revenue. The city splits revenue above that with Allegiant.
As for the new potential flights, Johnson said the city will likely select a new carrier.
“I don’t know that (Allegiant) would bid on it and frankly, it’s not a bad idea to diversify,” he said. “We’d like to have more than one airline operating out of the airport.”
Johnson said the administration will request “Letters of Interest” from potential carriers, with interested parties hopefully following with formal proposals to do business at the airport.