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Author Topic: Washington’s Rural Airports Bill Increses Grant Amount  (Read 430 times)

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Klaus

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Washington’s Rural Airports Bill Increses Grant Amount
« on: February 02, 2017, 02:30:48 PM »
http://kpq.com/rural-airports-benefit-proposed-bill/

 Posted By: Kevin Rounce February 2, 2017

Quote
Washington’s rural airports could get a major boost from a House bill that was passed Thursday.

The bill’s sponsor Tom Dent says they wanted to raise the limit on the amount of grant money an airport can receive from $250,000 to $750,000.

“There’s two reasons for that. Number one, it was established 35 years ago so inflation has used up a lot of our ability to do projects. The second reason is to save money because most of our grants have to do with asphalt and pavement.”

And Dent says if you can repave a runway in one single year, that will save money.

Representative Mary Dye says she’s learning to fly and often has to be aware of where she might land if anything goes wrong.

“If I were a student pilot, I would want to make sure that upcountry airstrip was in good order because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to avoid a pothole or a dangerous hazard on an unrepaired airstrip.”
The bill passed unanimously and now moves to the Senate.
Klaus Marx
Juneau, AK (PAJN) & East Wenatchee, WA (KEAT)

hotrod180

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Re: Washington’s Rural Airports Bill Increses Grant Amount
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 09:02:17 AM »
Unfortunately with more money available, some airport projects are going to be taken on just because the funding is there: the "free money" syndrome.
For example, the runway at my airport (Jefferson County 0S9) was built in 1990, making it 27 years old this year. The FAA has determined that it needs to be revamped-- existing pavement ripped out, dig down to bare dirt, and rebuild. Same length & width, same drainage configuration (shed style, not crowned), with the project scheduled for 2019. Nobody on the airport can see why this needs to be done, as the runway appears to be in pretty good shape. In fact, I'd say that with some maintenance, it should last another 27 years. Talking to the Port of PT, it appears the FAA is the driving force behind this. And since they 90% fund all airport improvements, making them the 800# gorilla, it's pretty hard to tell them no. There is supposed to be an FAA / Port of PT open house sometime before then to discuss the why and the how, but I have yet to see it scheduled. As long as the airport is kept operational, by using the parallel taxiway for takeoff & landing ops, it's not gonna hurt me, but I hate to see $2M of public money spent fixing something that's not broken. Plus it'll no doubt be a huge PITA.

Domenick

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Re: Washington’s Rural Airports Bill Increses Grant Amount
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 07:55:28 AM »
I believe the change does not increase the total amount of money available, it only increases the maximum amount allocated to a single project. Basically, it allows bigger slices of the same pie. The result could be fewer, more extensive projects. As stated, it would also allow project completion in a single year, rather than spread more expensive projects across multiple years.
Domenick
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Snohomish, WA, Harvey Field, S43

hotrod180

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Re: Washington’s Rural Airports Bill Increses Grant Amount
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 08:25:56 AM »
.... As stated, it would also allow project completion in a single year, rather than spread more expensive projects across multiple years.

Has anyone ever seen projects spread across multiple years? Esp at a rural airport?
I have seen multi-phased projects-- say for example this year rebuild the taxiways, next year the runway, but that's probably more for strategic reasons as opposed to financial.

This is state funding that they're talking about BTW. At my airport, other than our old "super unicom" which  was WS-DOT funded about 15 years ago to the tune of $35K, everything which was outside funded got the lion's share (90%) from the FAA, with WS-DOT only kicking in 5%. That's never even come close to 250K, let alone 750.

One thing I would like to see is more funding of privately-owned / public use airports. I believe that it's policy for both the FAA & WS-DOT to only fund publicly owned airports, but a large part of our aviation infrastructure is privately owned-- esp in rural areas. Good examples in the Puget Sound area are the airports at Sequim, Oak Harbor, Snohomish, Monroe, & Lynden. Unfortunately, once you take an agencies money they often insist on oversight of the whole operation-- another problem with "free money". For that reason a lot of private airport operators don't want to  accept such funding anyway.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 08:33:31 AM by hotrod180 »

Al Gilson

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Re: Washington’s Rural Airports Bill Increses Grant Amount
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 09:46:12 AM »
The 5% that the WA aviation folks gives to projects usually is used to cover the local match required to get the fed grants. Also, the Washington State Constitution would not allow funding to be allocated to a private airport.

Al (Go for a tax break instead) Gilson
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