Fate of Federal Funds Remains in Limbo for Aberdeen Regional Airport

No word has been received on a $500,000 federal marketing grant the Aberdeen Regional Airport applied for in April.

Dave Osborn, city transportation director, told the airport board Thursday he had not received any word on the Small Community Air Service Development Grant.

He did, however, say he expects to hear any day now, as the 60- to 90-day waiting period is just about up.

"I'm hoping to hear this month," Osborn told the board. "I was told by Washington the end of July or early August."

The airport had applied for $500,000 in federal funds to improve air service to the Hub City by using the money to attract jet service.

Mesaba Airlines, the Northwest Airlines regional partner that serves Aberdeen, has regional jets that are larger, more comfortable and can carry more people than the prop-driven Saab 340s it currently flies into Aberdeen.

Should the jets be provided by Northwest/Mesaba, the city would use the grant money to buy any empty seats on the 55-seat aircraft.

Hopes are to have jets for the first flight out and the last flight in each day.

Earlier this year, Osborn and other city officials as well as business leaders met with Northwest officials to discuss the plan.

No promises were made, but the airline did support the city in applying for the grant.