Huntsville International Airport in the US state of Alabama will apply for a $2m Department of Transportation (DoT) small community air service development grant aimed at attracting a low-fare carrier.

Under this programme, grants are provided to airports that have inadequate air service and unduly high airfares.

Huntsville International Airport chairman Mark McDaniel said that if the grant were approved it would help the airport in its pursuit for a low-fare carrier.

“For years our organisation has sought lower fares with only minimum success, but with the potential award of this grant, it increases our chances of attracting a low-fare carrier and aids us in combating our problem of being the airport with the highest average air fares nationwide,” McDaniel said.

Huntsville International Airport executive director Rick Tucker said that its past efforts to decrease fares have only been successful in the short term.

“The key ingredient for lower fares is the sustained presence of a low-fare carrier in the market, which ultimately creates competition,” Tucker said.

The grant will be sent for submission on 28 August 2009. The DoT has not yet announced the date for awarding grants.