Rural Airports Benefit from Proposed Bill

Washington’s rural airports could get a major boost from a House bill that was passed Thursday.

The bill’s sponsor Tom Dent says they wanted to raise the limit on the amount of grant money an airport can receive from $250,000 to $750,000.

“There’s two reasons for that. Number one, it was established 35 years ago so inflation has used up a lot of our ability to do projects. The second reason is to save money because most of our grants have to do with asphalt and pavement.”

And Dent says if you can repave a runway in one single year, that will save money.

Representative Mary Dye says she’s learning to fly and often has to be aware of where she might land if anything goes wrong.

“If I were a student pilot, I would want to make sure that upcountry airstrip was in good order because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to avoid a pothole or a dangerous hazard on an unrepaired airstrip.”
The bill passed unanimously and now moves to the Senate.

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