Rochester awarded portion of $16.9 million in federal airport grants

Rochester will receive $850,000 to help support local air service.

The Rochester International Airport Monday, April 26, 2021.
Joe Ahlquist /
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ROCHESTER — Rochester is among 25 communities receiving grants as part of a $16.9 million distribution by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program

The city is slated to receive $850,000 to be used for maintaining and building local airport operations.

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“In so many of our nation’s smaller communities, local air service is crucial to residents’ lives and livelihoods,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement announcing the grants. “We're proud to award these grants to help strengthen local air service in 25 smaller communities and help Americans across the country get to where they need to go more efficiently and affordably.”

Since the inception of the program, the DOT has issued more than 400 grants, helping communities develop projects tailored to their own air service needs.

Rochester is the only city in the state to receive funding from this round of grants.


Grants are used to provide financial incentives to carriers, conduct studies on the possibilities of expanded service, and carry out marketing programs to promote existing local service, as well as address other challenges small communities and their airports may experience.

The financial assistance seeks to help communities establish first air services, restore lost service and provides support to establish new routes to improve connectivity and allow people in the community to fly more easily and affordably.

Rochester International Airport is in the middle of a $79.2 million project to update its runways and other facilities. The project started in 2021 and is expected to take six years as it’s carried out in multiple phases.

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