Jeff Merkley

09/26/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2019 12:11

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $2 Million Investment at Astoria, John Day Airports

Thursday, September 26, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon's Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $2 million in federal grant funding that will help Astoria Regional Airport and Grant County Regional Airport make critical infrastructure improvements, in order to continue safely serving Clatsop and Grant county residents and businesses.

'Regional airports play a critical role in connecting our communities with economic opportunities and critical resources,' said Merkley. 'These are big wins for Astoria and Grant County Regional Airports, and the Oregonians and businesses these facilities serve. I'm going to keep using my position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to secure the investments our airports need to support our communities for generations to come.'

'Oregonians relying on smaller regional airports deserve safe infrastructure that provides the dependable links their communities need for economic growth and medical transport,' said Wyden. 'These federal investments will update the airports that Astoria-area and Grant County residents and businesses count on, and I am proud to have teamed up with officials in both regions to make the case for these grants.'

The U.S. Department of Transportation Airport Improvement Program grants will make it possible for both airports to reconstruct their aircraft aprons, the portion of the airport where airplanes are parked, boarded, loaded, and refueled.

In 2019, Merkley and Wyden have helped secure over $45 million in infrastructure improvement grants for airports across Oregon.

'The apron reconstruction project is greatly needed to increase safety for our airport users, and this federal government grant funding with additional funding from the Oregon Department of Aviation, and the Grant County government will provide a safe area for at least the next twenty years,' said Grant County Regional Airport Manager Haley Walker. 'As a result the Grant County Regional Airport can safely serve our local customers and attract new business while meeting and exceeding expectations. We are extremely grateful for the support and excited to move forward with this project that has been a target of ours for several years.'

'This grant funds the first phase of much needed rehabilitation of the airport apron,' said Port of Astoria Manager Gary Kobes. 'The original was constructed in the early 1940's and has served well but is approaching the end of its useful life. The Port of Astoria and the aviation community are grateful for the Federal support in sustaining this regionally important infrastructure.'

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