NORTH BEND — Federal legislators representing Oregon announced that more than $11 million in Department of Transportation grants will be distributed to Southern Oregon airports for improvements.
“These funds will allow for critical safety improvements to be made to our local airports,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio. “It’s imperative that we fund upgrades to Oregon’s airports in order to ensure continued access to air service, which will in turn lead to increased economic development.”
Locally, the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend will be receiving two grants totaling more than $760,000.
One of the grants, worth $500,000, will go toward funding an environmental impact study that will evaluate any potential environmental impacts related to the improvements to the Runway 4/22 safety area.
The remaining $260,000 grant will go toward an updated lighting and signage on Runway 4/22. This project rehabilitates 5,980 feet of the existing Runway 4/22 lighting system that has reached the end of its useful life and requires rehabilitation to enhance safe airfield operations during low visibility conditions. Current lighting and signage on Runway 4/22 dates back to 1994.
“We appreciate the ongoing support of Senator Jeff Merkley and his staff in recognizing Southwest Oregon Regional Airport’s value to our regional economy and our quality of life,” explains Theresa Cook, Executive Director of the Airport. “This funding will improve the safety of our airfield and will ensure continued commercial air service for our community.”
These grants will fund 94 percent of the necessary project costs. Southwest Oregon Regional Airport will provide the 6 percent matching funds required.
A total of $2.5 million in DOT grants will go to the Eugene Airport for safety improvements, including replacement of an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle, and acquisition of new snow removal equipment.
Corvallis Municipal Airport will receive nearly $8 million in funding to rehabilitate more than half a mile of runway lighting systems to enhance airfield operations during low-visibility conditions, and reconstruct runway and taxiway pavement that has reached the end of its useful life.
Gold Beach Airport will receive $230,000 in funding to install a new precision approach path indicator and an airport rotating beacon, making nighttime landings at the airport safer.
Albany Municipal Airport will receive $950,000 in order to rehabilitate the pavement on the airport’s runway.