Jack Edwards Airport Authority looking to create Air Service Fund

By Melanie LeCroy
Posted 3/10/21

The Jack Edwards Airport Authority has been gathering regional support for the creation of an Air Service Fund to develop new air service to new destinations.

Airport Manager Scott Fuller …

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Jack Edwards Airport Authority looking to create Air Service Fund

Posted

The Jack Edwards Airport Authority has been gathering regional support for the creation of an Air Service Fund to develop new air service to new destinations.

Airport Manager Scott Fuller addressed the Gulf Shores City Council during the work session March 1 to request a pledge of support from the Gulf Shores City Council.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has set aside $18 million for communities to address air service and air fares in their communities. The Airport Authority is applying for a grant that requires a matching share but is prohibited from providing the match.

The grant funds will be used for:

  • Funding for a Minimum Guarantee Program for specific destinations and airlines to be named
  • Catchment Analytics Study
  • Costs associated with airline meetings and preparations
  • Marketing costs for promotion of airport goods and services supporting awareness of proposed terminal project.

The Airport Authority is requesting the city’s support for the solicitation of a community grant under the Small Community Air Service Development Program and $30,000 a year for two years not to exceed $60,000 in total.

Fuller said the fund currently has $250,000 in contributions from Orange Beach, the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Coastal Alabama and South Baldwin Chambers as well as other community supporters. The Gateway Initiative will manage the fund.

“We are trying to leverage this with U.S. DOT which would raise the fund up to $1.3 million if we are successful,” Fuller said.

Jack Edwards Airport’s air traffic control tower is under construction and according to Fuller the Airport Authority is also building a new building that will be used as a temporary air terminal.

The Airport Authority has been working to gain interest from airlines for some time. During the groundbreaking of the air traffic control tower in September 2020, John Pearsall, CEO of Elite Airways spoke to those in attendance about their intent to begin providing the residents of Gulf Shores with scheduled service but could not yet release details at the time.

Construction on the tower is scheduled to complete some time this summer. Jack Edwards Airport Air Traffic Control Tower live construction progress and time lapse video can be viewed by visiting https://app.oxblue.com/open/whitespunner/jackedwardsairport.