Federal Goverment Awards Worcester Airport $350,000
Congressional Delegation secures funds to market airport
WORCESTER – The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced that Worcester Regional Airport has been awarded a $350,000 Small Community Air Service Development grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will be used to implement a targeted marketing and advertising campaign to promote JetBlue service and re-establish Worcester as a viable commercial air service market.
“I am very pleased that the Department of Transportation is continuing to demonstrate their commitment to making commercial air service at Worcester Airport a success,” Rep. James P. McGovern said. “I will continue to work with Massport and with local officials to help strengthen and broaden that service.”
Worcester Regional Airport has been without airline service since March 2012. To address this, Massport and the City of Worcester, along with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, business and academic leaders and elected officials joined forces to successfully recruit JetBlue to Worcester. Starting in November, JetBlue Airways will begin offering one flight daily flight to Orlando and another daily flight to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft.
“JetBlue has made a wise business decision to fly out of Worcester. The market exists in the Central Massachusetts region for them to be successful here,’ said Tim Murray, President and CEO, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This grant will go a long way in getting the word out that the Worcester Regional Airport has commercial service to two very desirable locations.”
In 2010 Massport acquired the airport from the city of Worcester and has since invested $10 million to strengthen its basic infrastructure with another $40 million contemplated to meet FAA guidelines and to improve its landing system.
“JetBlue links Worcester and Central Massachusetts to the broader air service network, gives people choices and strengthens the competitiveness of this region and contributes to economic development,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “This grant would not have been possible without the commitment and support of our partners in the City, at the Chamber of Commerce and academia. I am especially grateful to Congressman McGovern for his leadership and tireless work with the Congressional Delegation on our behalf.”
JetBlue is well known not only for its low fares, but also for its growing domestic and international reach and its superior customer service and amenities. As the largest airline serving Boston Logan and with services to seven other New England markets, JetBlue has a broad and loyal customer base in the Worcester region.
"It is all about team work. JetBlue is investing millions to their routes from Worcester to Florida. They want to grow with us. Their success is ours and vice versa,” stated Michael V. O’Brien, Worcester City Manager “In the spirit of teamwork, we are grateful to the FAA, and to our Congressman, James P. McGovern, for their commitment that will match local and state dollars and in-kind donations to do our part to make JetBlue a success over the long haul.”
At its peak in 1989, Worcester airport served more than 340,000 people and between 2009 and 2012, 250,000 people chose Worcester Airport. Worcester Regional Airport serves Worcester County, the second fastest growing county in Massachusetts, along with the Boston Metro West region and the bustling Interstate 495 corridor. A Massachusetts Department of Transportation economic impact study found that Worcester Regional Airport contributes $51.5 million to the regional economy.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities. For more information please visit massport.com.