Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Announces Airline Service Grant in Pikeville
Multi-county coal severance tax grant to support new airline service at the Pikeville – Pike County Regional Airport
PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Department for Local Government today announced a pledge of a $1 million multi-county coal severance tax grant to the city of Pikeville. The grant will be used to support the development of new airline service at the Pikeville – Pike County Regional Airport (PBX).
Pikeville’s elected officials, along with the Pikeville – Pike County Airport Board and the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce have been spearheading efforts to develop scheduled passenger airline service at the Pikeville field for more than two years. The grant will be awarded once an airline is selected to provide the public service. The proceeds of the grant will be matched with a $750,000 federal grant that the city of Pikeville received last year, and will be used as part of the project’s revenue guarantee program to assist a carrier in reaching sustainability during the start-up phase of service.
“So far, two airlines have expressed interest in serving PBX,” said Gov. Beshear. “Local officials have demonstrated strong leadership on this project, and the Commonwealth is pleased to partner with the community and airport officials to support ongoing efforts to develop new airline service.”
The grant will play an important role in the final stage of recruiting an airline to PBX. The successful recruitment of an airline will significantly enhance economic development efforts and the creation of new jobs not only in Pikeville and Pike County but also in the surrounding 12 counties.
“This is great news for our community,” said Sen. Ray Jones of Pikeville. “This grant puts us further down the road toward our goal of establishing scheduled airline service at PBX.”
“I want to thank Governor Beshear for his support of this important community goal,” said Rep. Leslie Combs of Pikeville. “We’re getting closer to our goal of new airline service to a major connecting hub which will truly connect Pikeville and Pike County to the global economy.”
“Our city appreciates the support of Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth,” said Pikeville Mayor Pro-Tem Jimmy Carter. “New airline service at PBX will help us to create new jobs in the coalfield.”
“The Commonwealth has been a wonderful partner at PBX ever since the field first opened in 1983,” said Bill Hickman, Chairman of the Pikeville – Pike County Airport Board. “This is yet another confirmation of this partnership as the airport continues to grow and serve the community.”
“New airline service at PBX will make it much easier for our business and professional community to compete in the global economy,” said Jared Arnett, president and CEO of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “This grant helps us get closer to our goal of securing service.”
“This project enjoys widespread support,” said Luke B. Schmidt, President, L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC and consultant to the project’s leadership group. “Airline service will be a real game-changer for this community. I want to also thank Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and Floyd County Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall for their support of our grant application.”