Grays Harbor airports could see extra funding

The Governor’s proposed 2014 Supplemental Transportation Bill also includes an extra $565,000 in 2015 for the state’s Airport Aid Grant Program.

The proposed increase comes after a previous legislative session approved an additional $1.5 million in airport funding for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Airport Aid Grant Program. Combined with the $1.5 million, the proposed increase would double the amount of state funding available for public-use airports to about $4 million for the next two years.

WSDOT airport grants provide funding for improvement and preservation projects at the state’s 134 public airports. This includes 5 airports in Grays Harbor. The maximum amount WSDOT Aviation can award in a single grant is $250,000.

Locally, in 2012, over $12,000 of this funding was used at the Willapa Harbor Airport for a wildlife assessment, and in 2011 the Ocean Shores Municipal Airport received almost $1,000 for runway maintenance.

Additional funding for the Airport Aid Grant Program would come from WSDOT’s aeronautics account, which is funded through a fee on aviation fuel and a portion of state aircraft registration fees and excise taxes.

The proposed funding increase comes as WSDOT Aviation is in the midst of conducting an Airport Investment Study. The study examines current and forecasted state funding for airports, as well as airport needs for the next 20 years.

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