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August 5, 2022

SALEM, OR. — The City of Salem was awarded $850,000 through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) to initiate regional commercial air service at the Salem Airport.

SCASDP funding is designed to help small communities attract and expand passenger airline service. These funds will be leveraged with private sector contributions as a healthy Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) in the incentive package to secure commercial air service from Salem to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

“The federal transportation grant award recognizes the holistic need of the regional economy to have affordable flight options accessing hubs to the East and South of our state, while also reducing the number of cars forced to commute North to PDX for air travel,” Tom Hoffert, Salem Chamber of Commerce CEO, said.

“Commercial air service is the jet fuel needed to create a diversified and vibrant regional economy — providing smart and strategic economic development solutions around affordable and accessible travel options, talent and investment recruitment, carbon footprint reduction and so much more,” Angie Onyewuchi, Travel Salem CEO, states. “This critical grant funding moves us closer to launching our first flights and provides a direct connection between Oregon’s spectacular wine country and the world. The SCASDP funds are a key component of our incentive package for the airlines who want to Fly Salem!”

Currently, Salem is the largest of only five state capitals in the country that do not yet have commercial air service. The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, along with Volaire Consulting, Travel Salem and other community leaders have been working on this initiative for more than four years. With the help of this SCASDP grant award, commercial air service to Salem could launch within the next 12 months.

As the second largest city in Oregon, Salem has piqued the interest of multiple airlines that are looking to expand into new markets. Discussions are ongoing as the City of Salem and its stakeholders work diligently to bring this economic development opportunity to the region.

Tom Hoffert
Chief Executive Officer
(503) 581-1466

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