Pike County officials say they are one step closer to getting a commercial airline service.
Nothing is permanent yet, but Pikeville city leaders say a service will commit to the Pikeville-Pike County Airport if they get the necessary funding.
The city of Pikeville and the Pikeville-Pike County Airport Board has pursued a commercial airline service for the past four years. Now, officials say one might be on the way.
City manager Donovan Blackburn says, "A service has issued a commitment letter that states if we can acquire funding, then they would pursue providing service to the airport."
The city of Pikeville applied for a federal small community air service development grant.
City officials say if they get the necessary funding then officials believe the unnamed commercial air service will operate at the Pikeville-Pike County airport. Blackburn says the proposal is two flights per day on a 20 passenger plane to a city hub.
"This would be a tremendous benefit for us," said Danny VanHoose, Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Vice-Chairman.
Members of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce say a commercial air service will increase business across the region and attract new ones.
"Without commercial air service, you're kind of in a hindrance to gaining manufacturing plants and other industry to relocate here. If you have the ability to fly people in and out here locally, it will certainly help us with the economic development," said VanHoose.
Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce leaders are asking people to send letters to Washington in support of Pikeville receiving the grant.
You can get a copy of a letter to send from the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.