Wyden, Merkley: $2.6 Million to Rural Airports for Crucial Safety Updates

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon airports in John Day, Klamath Falls, Aurora, Newport, Florence, Hood River, Creswell and Eugene will receive a combined $2.6 million from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Grant (AIG) and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) programs for crucial safety improvements to runways, weather reporting, snow removal and more.

“Oregonians and small businesses in rural parts of the state count on safe and reliable air service for their products,” Wyden said. “I am gratified to see these federal dollars go toward improving critical airport safety infrastructure that are often taken for granted when flying. Investing in airport infrastructure lays the groundwork for smaller airports to continue to support Oregon’s jobs and economic growth in a global market.” 

“Whether flying for recreation or business, we all rely on safe and reliable travel,” Merkley said. “I am happy to see this funding going to airports across the state for improvements to help boost their operations. This funding will allow these airports to continue supporting the economy and businesses of Oregon and the regions they serve.” 

These AIG and AIP grant funds will be distributed as follows:

  • $100,000 to the Ken Jernstedt Airfield in Hood River for the installation of weather reporting equipment (AIP)
  • $150,000 to the Newport Municipal Airport for tree removal on arrival and departure paths  (AIP)
  • $1,000,000 to the Mahlon Sweet Field Airport in Eugene to acquire snow removal equipment (AIP)
  • $600,000 to the Grant County Regional/Ogilvie Field Airport in John Day to reconstruct and widen the runway, reconstruct runway lighting, installs identifier lights and replaces airfield guidance signs. (AIP)
  • $198,137 to the Crater Lake/Klamath regional Airport to install replacement runways and visual guidance systems. (AIG)
  • $332,260 to the Aurora State Airport for runway rehabilitation as well as joint and fog sealing on pavement surfaces. (AIG)
  • $150,000 to the Hobby Field Airport in Creswell to install new runway approach path indicators and end identifier lights. (AIP)
  • $100,000 to the Florence Municipal Airport to extend pavement life of runways and taxiways. (AIG)

“This grant award comes just in time as it will be used to replace an aging runway deicing truck,” said Eugene Airport Director Cathryn Stephens, A.A.E. “Updating our snow removal equipment fleet will ensure we will be ready for winter weather events in the future. We appreciate our Congressional Delegation’s ongoing commitment to safety and operational efficiency at EUG.”

“The Aurora airport is one of Oregon’s busiest airports, and this funding will allow us to begin the design work to preserve the existing pavements at Aurora for the next two decades. We are grateful for the consistent support of our congressional delegation in securing these needed funds,” said Betty Stansbury, Director at the Oregon Department of Aviation.