Merkley, Wyden, Newhouse Announce Nearly $3 Million for Columbia Gorge Regional Airport

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-04) announced today that the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport will be awarded $2,965,213 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airport infrastructure improvements under the FY23 Airport Improvement Program.

“The Columbia Gorge Regional Airport is an important hub serving community members, businesses, and visitors who wish to explore the Gorge’s remarkable economic opportunities and landscapes,” said Senator Merkley, who worked closely with the City of The Dalles and the Airport to secure this critical funding. “Further, the work funded will help unlock the economic potential of the airport’s grounds and support the critical wildfire fighting aircraft and crew who stage there during fire season.” 

“The airport serves the Columbia Gorge as a crucial connection for area residents and businesses to travel, transport goods and medical supplies, and contribute to the quality of life in rural Oregon,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these resources to improve infrastructure are heading to this hub so it can continue to be a safe and reliable transportation option for the region.”

“The Columbia Gorge Regional Airport provides small businesses, members of the community, and tourists from around the country with the ability to enjoy the natural beauty of our region and unleash new economic opportunities. I am proud to have helped the airport secure the necessary funding to improve its critical infrastructure so it can continue to benefit the economy in our region,” said Rep. Newhouse.

The FAA’s Airport Improvement Program strengthens our nation’s aviation infrastructure through funding important infrastructure projects such as construction of or improvement to runways, taxiways, airport signage, airport lighting, and airport markings. The funds coming to the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport will support the construction of a taxilane and reconstruction of an apron.

“We are thrilled to have been granted the funds for the South Apron and Taxiway Project. The Columbia Gorge Regional Airport has been steadily growing infrastructure and employment through public and private investment since 2006. This grant will update our infrastructure to better serve the heavier aircraft now frequenting the airport and provide vital infrastructure to allow for additional hangers to house the waiting list of people wanting to base their planes at CGRA,” said Jim Wilcox, Board Chair, Columbia Gorge Regional Airport.

“Columbia Gorge Regional Airport is a critical economic driver for our region as well as a center of wildfire response and disaster recovery. This funding will enable vital facility improvements to expand general aviation capacity, further underscoring the FAA’s longstanding, essential role as an airport partner,” said Matthew Klebes, City Manager, City of The Dalles.

“This federal funding is a critical component for the future growth of the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport.  We would like to thank our partners at the FAA and our federal delegation for their tireless work to make this project successful,” Jacob Anderson, Commissioner, Klickitat County.