LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH) has been selected to receive a $600,000 grant to improve airline service, which will allow travelers to fly directly to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

This grant comes under the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP). The program is designed to assist underserved, smaller communities attract more airline service through direct financial incentives to targeted airlines. LYH was one of 20 airports across the country selected for the grant.

“This grant funding is particularly timely in light of the pronounced challenges that smaller regional airports like LYH have faced as a result of the recent pandemic and the subsequent effects of a worsening airline pilot shortage with its disproportionate impact on regional airline service.” said Airport Director Andrew LaGala. “We are encouraged that the financial incentives made possible through this program will accelerate our ability to enhance and expand our American Airlines service at LYH.”

The airport plans on implementing a two-phased approach in response to the grant money. The proposal in centered on increasing American Airlines’ existing services at LYH. The first phase focuses on the reintroduction of larger, dual-class regional jet aircraft to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The second phase, looking to expand the airport’s current services, will begin offering a nonstop flight to Chicago O’Hare International Airport as a connecting hub.

A key element for LYH receiving the grant is the presence of public-private participation in order to enhance community support, along with local financial contributions to expand the grant money. For LYH, their proposal included $400,000 in local matching funds, which when combined with the grant and waived airport fees adds up to over $1 million.

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