To give more thrust to an effort to connect Boise, via direct air service, to east coast destinations, the Greater Boise Auditorium District Thursday pledge $25,000—matching a similar amount from the City of Boise—to help secure a U.S. Department of Transportation matching grant of $700,000. GBAD's contribution on the same day that the grant application was due in USDOT's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
"In order to come or go from the east coast is an all-day trip," said Boise Centre Executive Director Pat Rice, adding that a direct flight between Boise and the east coast would expand Boise's business and tourism horizons.
The proposal—an addendum to Thursday's GBAD's agenda at the last minute—was brought by Boise Airport official Rebecca Hupp, who has raised approximately $75,000 from private parties and another $25,000 from the Boise City Council.
USDOT, according to Hupp, has a total of $11 million in funds that would go to small airports seeking to expand services to the east coast. Funds raised to match the DOT grant would be used only if the USDOT awards the grant to Boise, and if a commercial air carrier accepts the funds to offset startup costs of launching new service at the Boise Airport.