State pledges $1 million to develop air service

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear has pledged $1 million in coal severance revenue to be used in Pikeville's push to get an airline to serve far eastern Kentucky.

Pikeville officials have been trying to get passenger air service to their local airport for more than two years.

Beshear said the $1 million grant will be awarded after an airline is in place. Pikeville already had been awarded a $750,000 federal grant to be used as a revenue guarantee to assist a carrier during the start-up phase.

Beshear said two airlines have expressed an interest.

The governor said getting air service to the Pikeville Regional Airport will help with economic development in the mountains.

Pikeville-Pike County Airport Board Chairman Bill Hickman said the state has been supportive since the airfield opened in 1983.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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