It's agency's second grant for larger, $14 million facility
WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced Wednesday the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $6.2 million in airport safety and infrastructure grants to three Oregon airports, about half of that for Redmond Airport's new operations and snow removal equipment building.
This investment in Oregon’s airports is part of a $520.5 million national investment in America’s airports that was announced Wednesday by Secretary Chao.
“This $520.5 million in federal support to airports across the country will help to keep our nation’s airports in good shape and make air travel a better experience for passengers,” Chao said in a news release.
The city of Redmond has been working the past few years on a new, larger operations building to house its snow removal equipment, a project now expected to cost about $14 million, Airport Director Zachary Bass said.
The 45,000-square-foot facility will replace a 7,000-square-foot building built nearly 20 years ago, in 2001. The FAA gave an earlier, $2.67 million grant for the facility last summer.
With this announcement, Chao said, the Trump administration has invested a historic $11.42 billion in more than two thousand American airports across the United States for safety and infrastructure improvements since January 2017.
The airports receiving Airport Improvement Program grants in Oregon include:
- Grant County Regional/Ogilvie Field Airport -- $150,000 to fund an airport related environmental assessment, plan or study
- Portland International Airport -- $3,093,872 to fund reconfiguring the apron
- Roberts Field Airport -- $3,018,922 to fund construction of a snow removal equipment building
"The administration not only supports infrastructure through funding – it is making it possible to deliver these much-needed improvements more quickly," the Federal Aviation Administration announcement said. "The department is working hard to streamline the approval process, cut unnecessary red tape and reduce unnecessary, duplicative regulations that do not contribute to safety.
These investments and reforms are especially timely because the U.S. economy is surging. Employers have added more than 7 million jobs since January 2017. To kick off the new decade, a robust 225,000 American jobs were added in January 2020 and the unemployment rate is still a remarkable 3.6 percent—the lowest in 50 years.
Aviation is an important part of that growth. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. civil aviation supports more than 5% of U.S. gross domestic product; $1.6 trillion in economic activity; and nearly 11 million jobs.
“America’s airports provide a gateway to the world for our citizens while at the same time delivering first impressions of the United States to visitors from abroad,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “It’s in our national interest to make them the crown jewel in our transportation system. The Airport Improvement Program allows us to do just that.”