This week, Idaho Falls Regional Airport is accepting a $500,000 grant for a direct flight to an East Coast hub.
The money was awarded in October. The government shutdown delayed the airport actually receiving the grant. The airport has three years to lure in an airline to provide the nonstop flight. The grant had to outline the possible destinations, with the top choice being Minneapolis St. Paul. The alternates are Dallas-Fortworth, Houston, or Chicago O'Hare.
The grant money is used to guarantee the airline revenue if they take the risk to establish the flight.
"The airport also has to typically provide waived fees and temporary incentives for the airlines just to come to the bargaining table, so it's kind of a long process and a lot of factors involved, but this grant definitely provides that bargaining chip that we need," said Craig Davis, airport director.
He says there has been interest from Delta airlines, but there is still plenty to be done.