October 09, 2014

Udall, Heinrich: City of Roswell to Receive $450,000 to Help Expand Air Travel Service to Phoenix

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced $450,000 for the City of Roswell to support the community's efforts to begin nonstop air travel service from the Roswell Industrial Air Center Airport to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program, will help add service between Roswell and Phoenix, which will provide passengers more timely connections to the west coast, and help to fuel economic growth in Southeast New Mexico. In July, Udall and Heinrich, along with U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham, sent a letter to the associate director of the Small Community Air Service Development Program, expressing their support for the City of Roswell's application for the grant.

"Adding air travel service between Roswell and Phoenix will not only help make travel more convenient for both New Mexico residents and visitors, but will also help create jobs and spur economic development throughout Southeast New Mexico," Udall said. "Access to all parts of our state is essential to fostering economic growth in rural communities, and I will continue to push for critical investments in New Mexico's air travel infrastructure."

"Transportation options and accessibility are key factors in attracting and keeping business in New Mexico. The new service that will be available in Roswell will make the region more marketable for all of those who would like to start or expand their businesses in southeastern New Mexico," Heinrich said. "Investments in an efficient and strong transportation system will help move New Mexico forward, spur job creation, and support our local economy."

As of July, 78 percent of Roswell area travelers drove to other airports to begin their travel, which increased the time and cost of travel from the area. Currently, passengers wishing to fly to the west coast from Roswell to must fly 400 miles east to the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport before flying to the west. Expanded service will eliminate this inefficiency, providing New Mexicans and visitors with a better and more timely air travel experience.