The Small Community Air Service Development Grant will be used to augment and implement a $1 million airline assistance program for nonstop service to LAX. The rest of the funding -$355,000 -will come from SCK’s non-airport revenue sources and airport in-kind services.
“This is an exciting first step towards making air service to Los Angeles available for the community and increasing its travel options,” said Airport Director Harry Mavrogenes. The grant is one of the initiatives that the Airport has pursued over the past two years, with the others including a federal inspection station for customs, allowing the airport to accept flights from Mexico as an international airport, and air cargo services.
The new flight between SCK and LAX will also benefit the region’s economy. “Establishing a hub-and-spoke airline through LAX is a major win for businesses and San Joaquin County,” said Jeffrey Michael, Executive Director, Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific. “In addition to direct jobs associated with the route, enhanced connectivity will drive productivity growth and make the region more attractive for business investment.”
The grant was made possible through the efforts of Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-9), who provided invaluable assistance and support. McNerney praised the progress this grant makes possible, saying, “I’m proud of Stockton’s selection for the Small Community Air Service Development Program. With this grant, the Stockton Metropolitan Airport will be able to make significant improvements to its aviation services and expand the community’s access to a major airline hub and daily service to Los Angeles.“ He added, “Expanding local flight services will open up new economic and travel opportunities to people throughout the San Joaquin Valley, and I look forward to seeing more flights take to the skies.
”Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Moses Zapien, said, “Improving the air service by making flights to Los Angeles available is a convenience many San Joaquin Valley’s residents will enjoy. It resolves the number one issue facing many local travelers who will be able to access the national transportation system through connecting opportunities at LAX –a major hub airport.
”SCK is fortunate to have point-to-point service offered by Allegiant Air to Las Vegas, Phoenix-Mesa, and San Diego; however, no connecting opportunities are provided beyond the three leisure destinations. Currently, in order to access top markets, Northern San Joaquin Valley air travelers must drive through some of the most congested routes in the nation, including Interstates 580, 680, 205 and 5, to alternate airports.