News Flash


Posted on: September 27, 2023

Dubuque Expected to Receive $1.5 Million Grant to Help Restore Commercial Air Service

This will be added to approximately $535,00 in public/private partnership funding aimed at helping improve and enhance local air service at the Dubuque Regional Airport.  

The Small Community Air Service Development Program is designed to help small communities address air service issues. Grant funding can be used on efforts including revenue guarantees, financial assistance for marketing programs, studies, and start-up costs. 

The grant funding is especially vital as airports nationwide have experienced a robust loss in air service over the past four years. Approximately three-quarters of the airports across the United States have seen a reduction or total loss of service in that time. Within the state of Iowa, airports have seen a 26% reduction in service. 

Civic and business leaders in Dubuque have been aggressively seeking new service opportunities since losing daily flights to Chicago last fall. In December, the Dubuque Regional Airport announced that low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines would begin offering twice-weekly flights to Orlando. Avelo has since added flights to Las Vegas from Dubuque.  

The Dubuque Commercial Air Service Team (CAST), which includes City and County officials as well as business and community leaders, continues to pursue a daily carrier to offer connections from Dubuque to larger markets. CAST will continue to work with the Dubuque Regional Airport Commission to restore, sustain, and enhance commercial air service in Dubuque. 

"As we continue our tireless work to return daily commercial air service to the Dubuque Regional Airport, we are truly thankful to the Department of Transportation, the Biden Administration, and our Congressional delegation for their partnership and assistance,” says Dubuque Mayor Brad Cavanagh. “This grant is a major step forward in our quest to reconnect Dubuque to the rest of the United States by air as soon as possible."  

“Without our partners’ support, this grant wouldn’t have happened,” added Mike Philips, Chair of the Dubuque Regional Airport Commission. “These federal funds will position Dubuque to be more competitive with other national airports when positioning to reinstate and retain daily scheduled air service.”  

“We are thrilled to receive this grant award,” noted Molly Grover, President and CEO of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce. “Restoring and enhancing air service has been and continues to be amongst the Chamber’s top priorities. Our members have been emphatically clear in the need for additional air service for the growth and success of the business community. In today’s economy it’s simply a business imperative.”  

“Dubuque will be well-served by this Small Community Air Service Development Grant,” said US Senator Charles Grassley in a statement. “These funds will help the community restore daily commercial air service that is vital for continued economic growth.  Since American Airlines pulled its air service from Dubuque, I have been hard at work to help the community regain daily scheduled commercial air service. Dubuque’s situation is exactly what these funds were intended to help address, and I know that Dubuque will utilize this award to the greatest extent.” 

“Ever since daily commercial air service was pulled from Dubuque last September, I have worked diligently with local stakeholders and leaders to restore daily commercial air service and protect Dubuque's economic vitality, including by successfully advocating for this Small Community Air Service Development Program grant,” added US Representative Ashley Hinson. “This grant will help Dubuque restore daily carrier service, reinvigorating the local economy at the heart of America's supply chain along the Mississippi River. I will keep fighting with everything I've got for Dubuque and for the continued growth and prosperity of Iowa." 

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