Funding makes it possible to bring commercial air service back to Salem

April 5, 2019

Newport, OR – On April 4, the State of Oregon Aviation Board awarded Salem the Rural Oregon Airport Relief Program (ROAR) grant of up to $500,000 to secure local commercial air service at McNary Field in Salem, Oregon. The grant funds will pay for the recruitment effort, contribute to a revenue guarantee enticement for the airlines, and to market the service once an airline commits to a new route.

“Securing this ROAR grant funding improves the local tourism economy and adds value for companies locating here and attracting new jobs and businesses to the Salem area,” said T.J. Sullivan, Board President at the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. “Air service in Salem will help people who live here by making their air travel easier, cheaper and environmentally better by not having to drive to Portland or Eugene airports.”

In a cooperative effort between the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Travel Salem and Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR), Salem’s commercial air service effort was one of three applicants to receive this grant funding. The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce will serve as the ROAR grant fiduciary, on behalf of the commercial air service volunteer leadership committee. Travel Salem has committed financial support to the effort, and SEDCOR is a regional partner.

The Salem business community has pledged nearly $500,000 to the Minimum Revenue Guaranteed (MRG), a key factor in the State Aviation Board’s decision to award the ROAR grant funds. The partnership between community organizations and the local business MRG dollars showcase Salem’s commitment to bringing commercial flights back into McNary Field.

The next steps include initial meetings with airlines in late April, continuing to gather community pledges for funds, and applying for federal dollars in the coming months.

For additional comment, please contact Tom Hoffert, Chief Executive Officer, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce at 503-581-1466 or

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce is a privately-funded 501(c)(6) not-for-profit membership organization that represents over 1,000 businesses, who employ over 50,000 Oregonians in the Mid-Willamette Valley. To learn more about the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, please visit

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