Our friends at the Regional Transportation Alliance have launched an innovative program to generate community support for international air service as soon as possible. The Air Service Advancement Project addresses an issue that we hear from airlines time and again: the importance of community support.
In today’s aviation industry, airports around the nation are competing for air service development, particularly on international routes. Airlines consider many factors when investing in markets and one of those is business community support.
The ASAP initiative sends a strong message to airlines that the business community is engaged in air service development efforts in our region. Funds from ASAP will be used to support the airport’s efforts to market the opportunity, to market the assets of the region and most of all to promote the services.
So how will it work?
The RTA has set a goal to raise $500,000 in a three-year initiative consisting half of cash investments and half as in-kind investments to match the Airport Authority’s $500,000 commitment to marketing international air service. The funds will be used to both develop and promote international service.
How important is international air service?
This past fall, Dr. Michael Walden at N.C. State completed a study that said one international flight has a $1.4 billion economic impact over 25 years, creates 14,000 jobs in the community and produces $272 million in new public money.
We’re excited to see the business community come together to support international air service at RDU, and we’re delighted that the RTA is helping to spearhead this process by launching this highly-visible, critical air service initiative.
With the community’s help and RTA’s leadership, we’re sure to see international service thrive ASAP!