Legislators consider ways to increase Idaho air travel

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers in Idaho have considered ways to increase air travel in the state as flights have been reduced or eliminated in recent years, stunting economic growth.

Horizon Air stopped direct flights from the Lewiston airport to Boise two years ago and discontinued flights to Boise from Pocatello in 2006 and from Idaho Falls in 2010, Boise State Public Radio reported.

Lawmakers have argued that communities with fewer travel options are less attractive to businesses and people planning to relocate, so they hired a consultant to figure out how to lure airlines back or increase existing flights.

Mead & Hunt Project Manager Jeffrey Hartz told the committee Wednesday that there would need to be a financial incentive for the airlines to make any plan work.

“It could be a minimum revenue guarantee, it could be a capacity purchase type of agreement like the state of Wyoming has done. It could be more direct subsidy type of aspects,” he said.

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