By ANGIE FORD/Montana State News
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport officials announced a new direct flight to New York Wednesday. This news comes after nearly five months of deliberation between airport staff, airlines and the local community.
Airport officials couldn’t officially confirm details until Wednesday, but airport director Brian Sprenger says that an agreement with United Airlines is set to provide direct flights between New York’s Newark Liberty international Airport and Bozeman for the summer months. “The community has provided the necessary financing and we’re working with the airline on their announcement of service,” Sprenger said.
In September, the federal transportation department awarded the Small Community Air Service Development Program grant—worth $950,000—to the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. A local funds match largely originating from the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce, Yellowstone Club and Big Sky and Moonlight Basins, raised another $688,000.
Forty-two percent of the flight cost will be expected to be paid locally, while the remaining 58 percent will be paid with federal money for the first year. After that it will be up to the airline to determine if the direct flight is profitable enough to continue.
At the last airport authority meeting, Sprenger said that if the money were in place by the end of January, the once-a-week flight to New York would begin in the summer.
Edited by Matt Rule.