OWLS HEAD — Cape Air will continue to be essential air service carrier for the Knox County Regional Airport, the federal government announced.

The U.S. Department of Transportation approved the continued designation for Cape Air which will provide the company with a subsidy to serve the region.

The Knox County Commissioners had voted unanimously on Aug. 1 to recommend the renewal of Cape Air’s designation as the essential air carrier.

“With the award, Knox County continues a great relationship with a company who is focused on constantly improving the passenger experience and is investing in green technologies that are better for our environment,” Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw said Friday, Aug. 30 following the announcement.

Cape Air will serve the airport with the new Italian built 9-passenger Tecnam Traveller.

Cape Air has served Knox County as the essential air service provider since November 2008. Since then, they have flown more than 80,000 passengers locally, according to the airport. The airline connects the Knox County airport to Boston’s Logan Airport.

The U.S. Department of Transportation contracts with airlines and provides them federal subsidies in exchange for serving rural regions that might not otherwise attract a carrier.

“From my desk this is a no-brainer,” said Knox County Regional Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw said at the Aug. 1 Commissioners’ meeting. He said Cape Air invests in new planes and technology and serves the needs of the community.

Commission Chair Dorothy Meriwether also said at the Aug. 1 meeting that Cape Air has earned the renewal recommendation.

All 18 letters of public comment received by the county were in support of Cape Air, Shaw said.

Three airlines submitted proposals in order to receive the federally-subsidized essential air service designation. That included Cape Air, which states it will serve Knox County with a 9-seat Cessna 402 or a 9-seat Tecnam Traveller; Southern Airways Express, with a 9-seat Cessna Caravans; and Boutique Air, with a 9-seat Pilatus PC-12.

Cape Air will receive a subsidy of $3.3 million for the first year, which increases to $4.16 million by the fourth year.

The federal agency also awarded Cape Air the continued essential air service designation to serve the Augusta airport which includes additional reimbursement to the company.