PIKEVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2012) – A $1 million multi-county coal severance tax grant has been awarded to the city of Pikeville 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. Steve 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.”
“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.”