Billings airport receives $750k grant to land Dallas route

Billings Gazette

Billings Logan International Airport will receive $750,000 in federal funding to help develop and market new air service between Billings and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

U.S. Sen Jon Tester made the announcement Thursday evening. The Missoula International Airport will receive $600,000 from the same funding source, the Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program.

A message left with Kevin Ploehn, director of Aviation and Transit at the Billings airport, was not immediately returned.

In a letter to Brooke Chapman, the program’s associate director, Tester noted that the airport has partnered with the Billings Chamber of Commerce, the Billings Tourism Business Improvement District and Big Sky Economic Development to encourage American Airlines to open direct, daily service between Billings and Dallas.

“This grant would be leveraged with the $600,000 in private contributions that are already committed,” Tester wrote to Chapman.

If it’s opened, the new route “will not only allow Billings travelers to fly to Dallas, it will allow Texans to come and experience the magic of Billings and the surrounding countryside. Given that both destinations produce energy, it is to be expected that many business travelers will take advantage of this service.”

“This grant,” Tester wrote, “will encourage economic development, boost tourism and attract tourists to enjoy Montana’s awesome outdoors.”