Kentucky pledges $1.3 million toward fund aimed at landing more - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky pledges $1.3 million toward fund aimed at landing more nonstop flights from Louisville

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Louisville International Airport Louisville International Airport
Luke Schmidt Luke Schmidt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has agreed to provide $1.3 million in state funds to a new nonprofit organization that aims to get more nonstop flights at Louisville International Airport by offering subsides to airlines.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Thursday approved the $1.3 million pledge to Louisville Regional Airlift Development, Inc., a group led by prominent local business people.

Combined with $200,000 from Louisville Metro government, public funds would make up at least about 40 percent of the roughly $4 million the group aims to raise.

The $4 million would be available as “minimum revenue guarantees” to airlines – basically, an insurance fund on which the carriers could draw if they don’t sell enough tickets during the first year of the new nonstop service.

A document prepared by the finance authority’s staff said the $4 million would be split in equal, $1.3 million pieces among the state; private businesses and investors; and Louisville Metro “and various civic partners.”

It’s unclear who the other “civic partners” are.

Mary Ellen Weiderwohl, chief of Metro’s economic development agency Louisville Forward, said Thursday that Metro’s contribution is limited to $200,000 for the current fiscal year.

Luke Schmidt, a management consultant on contract to Louisville Regional Airlift Development, said Thursday that other "civic groups" would fill the gap, but he declined to say which groups.

"We’re still in discussions with some groups," he said.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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