NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport was awarded $847,646 in federal funds. The money will go to marketing and a possible new airline to serve customers.
The airport is hoping to have nonstop flights to Washington Dulles International Airport.
“There’s the confidence we can make this happen, there’s confidence that there’s plenty of passengers out there that demand the service," said Peninsula Airport Commission Airport Executive Director Michael Giardino.
Giardino said the airport was awarded the Small Community Air Service Development Grant on Tuesday. The airport applied for the grant in February. Giardino explained how they were able to get the funds from the department of transportation.
“They not only looked at our deficient in-air service but they also looked at 'Did you lose service because of COVID?' And because we lost Delta, I think that was taken into consideration on this grant package," said Giardino.
Giardino said the airport also got money from community partners.
“The community kicked in another $600,000, so that’s a substantial amount of money. We planned on $250,000 to go to some airport money and some from the grant to go toward marketing the flight.”
Giardino said at one point they only had eight passengers for one day in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and airline changes. Now the new funds are giving him the confidence to add another airline.
American Airlines is the only company at the airport now.
“We’re grateful for American Airlines but we’re also looking forward to having a new entrant come into the market and this grant package is going to go a long way to lure an airline to come," said Giardino.
The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport was one of 22 state grant recipients to get funds to assist in improving airport services.