VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The City of Valdosta says that their residents have wished for additional airlines to be added to the Valdosta Regional Airport for quite some time, and now their hopes are moving towards being a reality.
At the city council meeting held on Jan. 21, Valdosta Mayor Scott Matheson signed a resolution that allows the Valdosta-Lowndes Airport Authority to apply for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant for Small Community Air Service Development.
If approved, it could help secure an American Airlines flight from Valdosta to Charlotte, N.C., the city said.
“Delta has served us well going on 40 years now, but residents have always wanted that extra destination and that extra airline, and it looks like we are on a good track to get it,” said Mayor Matheson.
The process began when Airport Manager Jim Galloway received permission from the Airport Authority to start showcasing Valdosta to many airlines, with American Airlines expressing the most interest in the project, according to the city.
At the very base, this new airline will create price competition and hopefully better rates for passengers, and if the airport is approved for the grant, the process will not require any city funding, the city said.
$18 million is being offered for this grant nationwide, and Valdosta is only competing for a portion of that funding.
Though it will be several months before the airport discovers if it is awarded the grant or not, officials are optimistic that the airline will be up and running by 2022. This is to account for the building of infrastructure and an additional ticket counter, all of which will be covered by the funds received by the grant.