Screenshot from the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport website.

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) is pursuing a Department of Transportation Small City Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) grant aimed at recruiting United Airlines to provide direct service from Dulles Airport (IAD). 

“We plan to ask for $1 million over two-years as a revenue guarantee for this new service,” said Eric Litchfield, EWN business manager. “EWN’s ask is time sensitive as we must apply for the Grant by the 1st of March 2021.”

Litchfield provided a collection of FAQs related to the effort.

How can I help?  There are several ways:

1).  Write a letter of support.  You may write a simple note that expresses your personal or business’s support for increased air service at EWN (I will be happy to help draft your letter).  EWN NEEDS AS MANY COMMUNITY LETTERS OF SUPPORT as possible.

2). Pledge Community Support. Here is where the rubber meets the road.  A pledge is just that, a simple letter pledging a certain financial support level to this new air service.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WRITE A CHECK.  Only  AFTER 1) EWN gets the air service and 2) FAILs to meet the revenue requirement would pledgees have to write a check — our GOAL for community pledges is between a 10 percent and 20 percent match. Our air service consultant (Kirk Lovell) and I can discuss this with you or help develop your pledge. 

Example of how a Pledge works:  A business pledges, for example, $1,000 a year for two years in his Community Pledge Letter.  The company owes nothing unless 1). EWN secures new air service, and 2). EWN fails to fill the airplane with enough passengers to make the needed revenue.   Let’s say that we get air service and fall short of the revenue.  The Grant kicks in and pays 80 percent of the call.   The Community as a whole pledged 20 percent.   The pledger would need to write a check this month for 1 percent of the current shortfall. The math: The shortfall was $10,000.  The Grant pays 80 percent ($8,000). The Community pays 20 percent ($2,000).  The pledger owes 1 percent of the $2,000, or $20.

3).  In-Kind support.  In-Kind is a pledge of individual promotional and marketing efforts — on your company’s website or in your marketing effort that highlights the air carrier and the new route.  

4).  Tell your friends and other businesses about EWN’s ask. Please share this email with them and my contact information.  Call or email me and let’s get some partnerships rolling.

What is the Aiport doing, and why doesn’t the Airport pay this pledge?   These are fair questions.   First, the airport is prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from using its funds to support an air carrier directly.  The airport WILL indirectly support this new air service push through incentives legally allowed by the FAA. EWN will offer a 2-year incentive program built around lowering costs for the air carrier by waiving landing fees and rents.  Also, EWN will commit direct marketing dollars to advertise the new service from EWN in the local area and from IAD to EWN and the coast in the DC area.

For additional information, contact Eric Litchfield here.

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, located in New Bern, serves an area spanning Lenoir County to the Outer Banks. Until COVID-19, it was served by Delta Airlines with flights to Atlanta and by American Airlines with flights to Charlotte.

Delta suspended operations at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in June 2020 due to the pandemic.

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