Payments for Small Community Air Service Development
To help small communities enhance their air service and increase access to the national transportation system.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Office of The Secretary, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Fiscal Year 2016
Completed FY2016 selection process: 5,150,000 was obligated for FY grants. Completed FY2016 selection process: $5,150,000 was obligated for FY grants.Fiscal Year 2017
Fiscal Year 2016: Completed FY2016 selection process: $5,150,000 was obligated for FY grants. FY 2017: Completed FY 2017 selection process: $10 million was obligated for FY grants. FY2018: N/AFiscal Year 2018
FY 2018: Selection in process now and has yet to be obiligated. FY2019: N/A
The Small Community Program was established by the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (Pub. L. No. 106-181), reauthorized by the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. No. 108-176), and subsequently reauthorized by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Pub. L. No. 112-95) (FAA 2012), as amended. (Pub. L. No. 115-63), and the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Pub. L. 115-254)Authorization for this program is codified at 49 U.S.C. § 41743.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
In order to qualify for a SCASDP grant: 1. The airport serving the community is not larger than a small hub airport, according to current published FAA hub classifications; 2. The community has insufficient air carrier service or unreasonably high airfares; 3. The airport serving the community presents characteristics, such as geographic diversity or unique circumstances that demonstrate the need for, and feasibility of, grant assistance from the Small Community Program; 4. An applicant may not receive a new grant to support the same project from a previous grant more than once in a ten-year period (Ten-Year Same Project Limitation); 5. An applicant may request a waiver of the Ten-Year Same Project Limitation, if the community spent little or no money on their previous project or encountered industry or environmental challenges, due to circumstances that were reasonably beyond their control; and, 5. An applicant may not receive an additional grant, prior to the completion of its previous grant. Program Limits 1. No more than 4 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, from the same State may be selected to participate in the program in any fiscal year; and 2. No more than 40 communities or consortia of communities, or a combination thereof, may be selected to participate in the program in each year for which the funds are appropriated. In addition to the statute, the Department applies the following conditions: Communities without existing air service. Communities that do not currently have commercial air service are eligible. Essential Air Service/Alternate Essential Air Service Communities. Small communities that currently receive subsidized air service under the Essential Air Service (EAS) or Alternate Essential Air Service (AEAS) program will not be considered for SCASDP funds. Consortium applications. Both individual communities and consortia of communities are eligible for SCASDP funds. An application from a consortium of communities must be one that seeks to facilitate the efforts of the communities working together toward a joint grant project, with one joint objective, including the establishment of one entity to ensure that the joint objective is accomplished. Multiple Applications: A community may file only one application for a grant, either individually or as part of a consortium. Changes: 1. The 1997 reference for hub statistic was removed. Now, only the current hub statistics apply; 2. Repeat projects are eligible after 10 years have passed; 3. Communities may seek a waiver to repeat a project, under specified circumstances, if less than 10 years have passed.
The legal sponsor of the proposed project must be a government entity. If the applicant is a public-private partnership, a public government member of the organization must be identified as the community's sponsor to receive project cost reimbursements. A community may designate only one government entity as the legal sponsor, even if it is applying as a consortium that consists of two or more local government entities. Private organizations may not be designated as the legal sponsor of a grant under the Small Community Program. The community has the responsibility to ensure that the recipient of any funding has the legal authority under state and local laws to carry out all aspects of the grant.
Communities must apply for the grant program by submitting a project proposal with required data to justify its proposal in accordance with the Department-issued Notice of Funding Opportunity. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Pre-application coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.C. 12372
Applications will be evaluated according to factors established in the RFP and under the guidance of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (Pub. L. No. 106-181), reauthorized by the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. No. 108-176).
For FY 2018 Applications due to www.grants.gov no later than 4:00 PM EDT on, July 15, 2019. For FY 2019, application dates are to be determined. .
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Can vary from year to year. However, the target is to award grants within 120 days from the established application deadline.
Application procedures are repeated each year. Grant recipients are precluded by statute for ten (10) years from seeking additional grants in support of the same project, unless the applicant requests a waiver complying with statutory same-project limits. A community can only have one Small Community Program grant at any time. 49 U.S.C. Section 41743(c)(4).
How are proposals selected?
There are two categories of selection criteria: Priority Selection Criteria and Secondary Selection Criteria. Applications that meet one or more of the priority selection criteria will be viewed more favorably than those that do not meet any priority selection criteria. In conduction its Technical Review, the Department will concurrently examine the application's alignment with both the Priority and Secondary Selection Criteria. Priority Selection Criteria: 1. Air fares are higher than the national average air fares for all communities - The Department will compare the local community's air fares to the national average air fares for all similar markets. Communities with market air fares significantly higher than the national average air fares in similar markets will receive priority consideration. The Department calculates these fares using data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Airline Origin and Destination Survey data. The Department evaluates all fares in all relevant markets that serve a SCASDP community and compares the SCASDP community fares to all fares in similar markets across the country. Each SCASDP applicant's air fares are computed as a percentage above or below the national averages. The report compares a community's air fares to the average for all other similar markets in the country that have similar density (passenger volume) and similar distance characteristics (market groupings). All calculations are based on 12-month ended periods to control for seasonal variation of fares. 2. The community or consortium will provide a portion of the cost of the activity from local sources other than airport revenue sources. DOT will consider whether a community or consortium proposes local funding for the proposed project. Applications providing proportionately higher levels of cash contributions from sources other than airport revenues will be viewed more favorably. Applications that provide multiple levels of contributions (state, local, airport, cash and in-kind contributions) will also be viewed more favorably. 3. The community or consortium has established or will establish a public-private partnership to facilitate air carrier service to the public. DOT will consider a community or consortium's commitment to facilitate air carrier service in the form of a public-private partnership. Applications that describe in detail how the partnership will actively participate in the implementation of the proposed project will be viewed more favorably. 4. The assistance will provide material benefits to a broad segment of the traveling public, including businesses, educational institutions, and other enterprises, whose access to the national air transportation system is limited. DOT will consider whether the proposed project would provide, to a broad segment of the community's traveling public, important benefits relevant to the community. Examples include service that would offer new or additional access to a connecting hub airport, service that would provide convenient travel times for both business and leisure travelers that would help obviate the need to drive long distances, and service that would offer lower fares. 5. The assistance will be used in a timely manner - The Department will consider whether a proposed project provides a well-defined strategic plan and reasonable timetable for use of the grant funds. In the Department's experience, a reasonable timetable for use of grant funds includes two years to complete studies, three years for marketing and promotion of the airport, community, carrier, or destination, and four years for projects that target a revenue guarantee, subsidy, or other financial incentives. Applicants are asked to describe how their projects can be accomplished within this timetable, including whether the airport and proposed air service provider have the requisite authorities and certifications necessary to carry out the proposed projects. In addition, because of this emphasis placed on timely use of funds, applicants proposing new service are asked to describe the airport and whether it can support the proposed service, including whether the airport holds, or intends to apply for, an airport operating certificate issued under 14 C.F.R. Part 139. Air service providers proposed for the new service must have met or be able to meet in a reasonably short period of time, all Department requirements for air service certification, including safety and economic authorities. 6. Multiple communities cooperate to submit a regional or multistate application to consolidate air service into one regional airport. DOT will consider whether a proposed project involves a consortium effort to consolidate air service into one regional airport. This statutory priority criterion was added the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95). 7. The assistance will be used to help restore scheduled passenger air service that has been terminated. DOT will consider factors including the length of time that has passed since the lost service was last operated, the circumstances of the cessation of service, the extent to which market circumstances have changed, and the reasonableness of the applicant's plan to restore service. Applicants where changed circumstances would support viability of replacement service, and for which the community has put forth a robust plan to obtain that service, will be viewed more favorably. This is a new statutory priority criterion, added pursuant to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. No. 115-254) (FAA 2018). Secondary Selection Criteria: 1. Innovation - DOT will consider whether an application proposes new and creative solutions to the transportation issues facing the community, including: o the extent to which the applicant's proposed solution(s) to solving the problem(s) is new or innovative, including whether the proposed project utilizes or encourages intermodal or regional solutions to connect passengers to the community's air service (i.e., cost-effective inter/intra city passenger bus service, marketing of intermodal surface transportation options also available to air travelers, or projects that have a positive impact on travel and tourism); and o whether the proposed project, if successfully implemented, could serve as a working model for other communities. 2. Community Participation - DOT will consider whether an application has broad community participation, including: o whether the proposed project has broad community support; and o the community's demonstrated commitment to and participation in the proposed project. 3. Location - DOT will consider the location and characteristics of a community: o the geographic location of each applicant, including the community's proximity to larger centers of air service and low-fare service alternatives; o the population and business activity, as well as the relative size of each community; and o whether the community's proximity to an existing or prior grant recipient could adversely affect either its proposal or the project undertaken by the other recipient. 4. Other Factors - DOT will also consider: o whether the proposed project clearly addresses the applicant's stated problems; o the community's existing level of air service and whether that service has been increasing or decreasing; o whether the applicant has a plan to provide any necessary continued financial support for the proposed project after the requested grant award expires; o the grant amount requested compared with total funds available for all communities; o the proposed federal grant amount requested compared with the local share offered; o any letters of intent from airline planning departments or intermodal surface transportation providers on behalf of applications that are specifically intended to enlist new or expanded air service or surface transportation service in support of the air service in the community; o whether the applicant has plans to continue with the proposed project if it is not self-sustaining after the grant award expires; and o equitable and geographic distribution of available funds. Full community participation is a key goal of this program as demonstrated by the statute's focus on local contributions and active participation in the project. Therefore, applications that demonstrate broad community support will be more attractive. For example, communities providing proportionately higher levels of cash contributions from other than airport revenues will have more attractive proposals. Communities that provide multiple levels of contributions (state, local, airport, cash and in-kind contributions) also will have more attractive proposals. Similarly, communities that demonstrate participation in the development and execution of the proposed air service project will enhance the attractiveness of their proposals.
How may assistance be used?
Grants for specified use, provided on a reimbursable basis. Grant funds can be used to cover a variety of expenses depending on the approved project. For example, funds can be expended for marketing, advertising or promotional activities associated with current or new or existing air service, studies designed to measure air service deficiencies, or to measure traffic loss or diversion to other communities; and employment or use of consulting firms, universities and public relations firms. In addition, grant funds may be used for financial incentives, including revenue guarantees to cover the air carrier's prospective operating loss, or to ground service providers in providing access to air transportation services.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No additional requirements.
The grant recipient is expected to retain all documents relevant to the grant award for a period of 3 years from completion of all projects undertaken pursuant to the Grant Agreement and receipt of final reimbursement from the Treasury.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The period of time for awards will vary with the complexity of the project. Minimum grant duration is two years; the maximum is four years. (The statute limits use of grant funds for air carrier subsidy to a maximum period of three years). Financial assistance is provided on a reimbursable basis; cash advances will not be made. Funding is paid to a community on a reimbursable basis; therefore, a community is required to make expenditures for project implementation under the program prior to seeking reimbursement from the Department. Eligible project implementation costs are reimbursable from grant funds only for services or property delivered during the grant term. Reimbursement rates are calculated as a percentage of the total federal funds requested divided by the federal funds plus the local cash contribution (which is not refundable). The percentage is determined by: (SCASDP Grant Amount) ÷ (SCASDP Grant Amount + Local Cash Contribution + State Cash Contribution, if applicable). Payments/expenditures in forms other than cash (e.g., in-kind) are not reimbursable.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
No Regional or Local Office
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE W86-307
Washington, DC 20590 US
(202) 366-0577 Fax:
(Project Grants) FY 18$10,000,000.00; FY 19 est $12,500,000.00; FY 20 Estimate Not Available FY 17$9,925,000.00; FY 16$5,150,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $20,000 to $1.6 million
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
49 U.S.C. 41743; 14 CFR 302.12 (Rule 12); 49 CFR 1.25a(b); 49 CFR Part 18; Public Law 106-181; Public Law 108-176; Public Law 108-477, Public Law 112 - 95.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016
• All of the awards were made to communities proposing revenue guarantees, or revenue guarantees with marketing support, as a means to attract new service or to restore lost service. All of the awards were made to communities proposing revenue guarantees, or revenue guarantees with marketing support, as a means to attract new service or to restore lost service.Fiscal Year 2017
Thirteen awards were made to communities proposing a revenue guarantee and/or marketing support as means to attract new carriers, restore lost service or capacity, and/or provide air travelers with access to additional markets. Three grants were made to communities to market existing air service at their airports.Fiscal Year 2019