WATCH: Improving Airports and Air Service in the Rural West webinar

The Western Governors’ Association hosted the webinar, Improving Airports and Air Service in the Rural West, on April 21.

Air service is critical to economic growth and quality of life in rural communities. Many remote western communities depend on air service to provide essential supplies and to access critical services, especially amidst the current public health crisis. However, air service to these areas is often threatened, and will likely face drastic cuts due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry.

This webinar highlighted the importance of air service to rural prosperity and provided information on funding sources and best practices for communities to invest in and maintain air facilities and services, including through the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program.

Panelists included:

  • Brian Olsen, Wyoming DOT Aeronautics Administrator, National Association of State Aviation Officials (Moderator)
  • Anita Lopez, Asset Risk Coordinator, Western Region, USDA Rural Development
  • Erik Hansen, Vice President of Government Relations, US Travel
  • David Short, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs, US Department of Transportation
  • Christa Lucas, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, National Business Aviation Association

The webinar was part of a series in conjunction with the Reimagining the Rural West Initiative of WGA Chair and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. The Chairman’s Initiative is examining challenges and opportunities in rural economic development, infrastructure, and quality of life across the region.

Download slides:

Anita Lopez

Erik Hansen

David Short

Christa Lucas

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