The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport is closer to offering flights to Denver thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The airport was awarded $780,000 from the DOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Program. The money will be used as a revenue guarantee and for marketing new nonstop United Airline service to Denver.

Airport Director Tony Bean said the airport could offer flights to Denver as soon as fall 2021. Bean said the grant does not guarantee service from United, but it does guarantee that Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport will be able to negotiate with United for services.

He said the airport has received a letter of support from the airline.

The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport raised $300,000 from public and private partnerships to qualify for the grant. The Department of Transportation stated that these partnerships demonstrated “strong community support for the proposal.”

Out of 57 communities that applied for the SCASDP, only 18 received the grant. Bean said offering flights to Denver would be beneficial to the region. The airport already has Alaska Airlines flights to Seattle, but it does not offer flights east.

“It allows us to go east and west, so it’s an additive service,” he said.

Bean said the airport loses 60 percent of the local market to Spokane International Airport, but having flights to Denver should lower that number.

Bean also said the airport was able to qualify for this competitive grant because of its new runway and instrument landing system, which puts it on level footing with other airports across the country.

Bean said engineering and architecture firm Mead and Hunt helped the airport apply for the grant.

Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to akuipers@dnews.com.

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