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Frequently Asked Questions - NWRASI

What are the goals of the NWRASI?

  1. Improve air service to a broad section of the Oregon and Washington traveling community.
  2. Provide better access from secondary markets in Oregon and Washington to the national air transportation system.
  3. Engage small communities in Oregon and Washington in finding solutions to regional air service issues.

 What will the NWRASI do?

Phase I - Small Community Air Service Development Toolkit:
This phase will provide tools for the Northwest’s smaller communities to inform and educate local community leaders with regard to the airline industry, air service development, and the necessary role of the community in air service initiatives. The Tool Kit will include:

  • A DVD to educate local leaders about air service development;
  • The Small Community Air Service Handbook, which will include more information and detail on the airline industry and guidance on air service development;
  • NWRASI – Mentor Program allows communities to meet with airport managers from other small communities in their region to gain from their experience in air service development.

Phase II - Small Community Air Service Market Analysis:
This phase will involve collecting quality, consistent information to evaluate the needs and strength of local air travel markets. Communities participating in this phase must:

  • First complete the Phase I Toolkit;
  • Agree to fund the full cost of the air service market data collection ($5,000);
  • Agree to participate as a “private partner” in the “public-private partnership” of the NWRASI.

Phase III - Regional Small Community Air Service Strategies:
Communities that have demonstrated through Phases I & II that their markets can support air service and that they have community commitment to support air service improvements will be included in this Regional Air Service Strategy. This phase will consider the overall air service needs for smaller communities in Oregon and Washington and evaluate alternative options and strategies for developing air service.

Who are the partners in the NWRASI?
The NWRASI is a consortium comprised of the Oregon Department of Aviation, Washington Department of Transportation – Aviation, Oregon Airport Management Association, and Washington Airport Management Association. In addition to these organizations, each community which participates in the program also becomes a partner.

What is the total project budget for the NWRASI?
The total budget will be between $280,000 and $330,000, depending on the number of communities which participate. Of this budget, $180,570 comes from a US DOT Small Community Air Service Development Grant. Each state has granted $11,320 plus $5,000 of in-kind services. Each airport management association has contributed $5,660 plus $2,500 of in-kind services. Individual communities will each contribute $5,000 to make up the total budget.

Who can participate?
The Air Service Development Toolkit (Phase I) will be provided at no cost to communities in Oregon and Washington with airports. All of these communities who may be interested in air service development are encouraged to use the Tool Kit.

The Market Analysis (Phase II) will be completed for those communities which have implemented the Tool Kit and have paid their $5,000 match.

The development of Regional Air Service Strategies (Phase III) will consider all communities which have completed Phase I and Phase II. However, all communities may not be included in the final strategy recommendations. Communities will be included based on the strength of their own air service market, community support, and role in a region-wide strategy.

Can communities in Idaho or other states participate?
Communities outside of Washington and Oregon are encouraged to use the Tool Kit for their own efforts. A small charge to cover reproduction costs will be charged for these materials. The market analysis and regional strategy for this effort will focus solely on Oregon and Washington.

If my community participates in this program are we guaranteed to get better air service?
No. Air service development in any community is a long-term proposition. There is always risk associated with financial investments in air service improvements. But this program will help a community determine their likelihood of success in air service development and ways to mitigate the risk. The Tool Kit will help a community understand airline decision factors and the types of investment that a community may be required to make. The Market Analysis can show a community the true demand that they have and help determine the reasonableness of their air service expectations. Participation in this program will be more cost-effective than “going it alone” because it is partially funded through a US Department of Transportation grant.

When will this program provide air service improvements?
The final result of the NWRASI is the development of regional strategies for air service improvements. Once a set of strategies have been developed, this work effort will be completed. We anticipate that the NWRASI will apply for follow-on funding to implement the strategies. This “implementation phase” will be a separate project that will be undertaken once this one is completed.

What product will communities receive for their $5,000 contribution to the Phase II Market Analysis?
Each community which participates in the Market Analysis phase will receive their own air service market information. This information will include that community’s top travel destinations and average air fares. The community will be provided with this information in a short white paper. Some communities prefer to have a more detailed market analysis report which is bound and contains more description and charts. This type of report typically costs from $9,000 to $20,000. There are several consultants who are qualified to perform this type of analysis if a community would like to have that for their own air service development and marketing program. The analysis that will be provided under the NWRASI will be focused on the development of a region-wide strategy.

My community is interested in applying for a Small Community Air Service Development Grant. How will that affect our participation in the NWRASI?
A recent policy change by the US DOT restricts any communities participating in the NWRASI from receiving a separate air service development grant until the NWRASI project is completed. NWRASI is anticipating completing this project prior to award of 2007 DOT grants. Any specific questions about grant eligibility should be directed to the US DOT Small Community Air Service Development Program Office.

My community is interested in applying for a Small Community Air Service Development Grant. How will that affect our participation in the NWRASI?
The NWRASI is aimed at providing a strategy for improving air service on a region-wide basis, not on individual improvements to communities. Communities are welcome to participate in the NWRASI as well as continue with their own, separate air service development efforts. The efforts may complement each other and should not be mutually exclusive.

Will infrastructure improvements be required at my airport?
Maybe. The Tool Kit will provide information on what type of physical infrastructure your airport will need to support air service and how you can fund these improvements, if necessary.

When is my deadline to sign up for the Phase II Market Analysis?
Phase II began in November 2006.

Which communities are participating in the Phase II Market Analysis?
Astoria, Oregon Moses Lake, Washington
Klamath Falls, Oregon Port Angeles, Washington
Newport, Oregon Pullman, Washington
Pendleton, Oregon Wenatchee, Washington
Redmond, Oregon Yakima, Washington
Roseburg, Oregon
Salem, Oregon


What does it mean for a community to commit to being a “Private Partner”?
One of the strengths of the NWRASI grant application to the US DOT is the Public-Private partnership that this program entails. When individual communities agree to participate in this program, they are agreeing to become one of the “private” partners. The private partnership is a commitment to contribute the $5,000 program match from non-airport generated (ie. “private”) funds and to actively participate in the program elements until the completion. In order to comply with grant requirements, communities wishing to participate in the program must submit a letter to the Oregon Department of Aviation specifically stipulating their desire and willingness to participate as a “Private Partner” in the public-private partnership.

Where does the $5,000 match come from?
Communities wishing to participate in Phases II and III of the NWRASI must contribute a $5,000 community match. Because of the restrictions on the US DOT Grant which is funding this program, this match cannot be from airport funds. It may come from non-airport local government funds, from private local sponsors, from organizations such as a Chamber of Commerce or economic development association, or from other state grant programs. But the match cannot come from airport-generated funds.

How and where do I submit my $5,000 match?
A check for $5,000 can be submitted to:
Oregon Department of Aviation
3040 25th St. S.E.
Salem, OR 97302-1125
Along with the check, include a letter identifying your community and your community’s commitment to participate in the NWRASI.

Where can I get more information?
Information on the NWRASI is available on the program Web site at:
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/news/2005/05_1129ImproveRuralAirSvc.htm

How and where do I submit my $5,000 match?
A check for $5,000 can be submitted to:

Oregon Department of Aviation
3040 25th St. S.E.
Salem, OR 97302-1125

Also include the NWRASI Phase II Application form which can be obtained by calling Ann Crook at (541) 883-5373.