September 12, 2018

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $6 Million to Support Oregon Airports

The grants will fund much-needed repairs, safety upgrades, and more to airports across the state

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced more than $5.8 million in U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grants to fund repairs, upgrades and more at airports across Oregon.

“These grants provide much-needed support to rural airports across the state,” said Merkley, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “That is why I fought to adequately fund transportation, and I will continue to push for the infrastructure funding our communities deserve to connect to economic opportunity, health care services, and more.”

“Quality of life for rural Oregonians includes infrastructure investments in airports so they are safe and dependable,” Wyden said. “Transportation resources like these grants play a big part in achieving that security and reliability for Oregonians living and working in and around Hillsboro, Madras, Baker City, Bandon and Roseburg.”

The USDOT Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program provides grants to public agencies for the planning and development of airports. The grants provide important funding for safety improvements and replacing outdated equipment, as well as for elements of ongoing projects.  

“The City of Roseburg greatly appreciates the support we continue to receive from our Federal partners in Congress as well as through the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Lance Colley, city manager of Roseburg. “This $200,000 grant will allow us to complete an obstruction removal project that should allow us to resume night time operations at the Roseburg Regional Airport.   This is a very high priority project for our airport and more significantly the aviation community.”

“This vital funding will allow us to conduct the first important step in improving our main runway and the safety area at the end of the runway at Hillsboro Airport,” said Steve Nagy, Port of Portland general aviation senior manager. “This will support the FAA’s Environmental Assessment to examine alternative approaches to address the improvements. The project will help maintain Hillsboro Airport as an integral part of the region’s transportation system, providing general aviation facilities to businesses and residents of Washington County and beyond.”

“The reconstruction of the taxiway is important for keeping the airport economically viable,” said Rob Berg owner of Berg Air LLC and manager of Madras Municipal Airport. “We reconstructed the runway three years ago and the last time the taxiway was reconstructed was 25 years ago. The Madras Airport is a huge economic driver for Madras and the entire Central Oregon area.”

“The Bandon grant will replace the all the runway electrical; edge lights, approach path lighting, wind cone lighting and provide an electric gate and fencing for added security,” said Matthew Maass, state airports manager for the Oregon Department of Aviation. “The current electrical system is over 20 years old and is direct burial, meaning that the wiring was buried in the dirt without conduit. The current system has outlived its useful life and has been subject to the harsh, corrosive ocean environment. This replacement will provide better protection (conduit as an example) and longevity, not to mention lower maintenance costs. The end result will be a safer, more efficient airport, with continued support for the communities of the Southern Oregon Coast.”

Grant recipients across Oregon include:

  • City of Madras, $2,509,496, for taxiway reconstruction at the Madras Municipal Airport.
  • Baker City, $1,196,217, to reconstruct the tarmac at Baker City Municipal Airport.
  • Port of Portland, $1,149,820, to conduct an environmental assessment as part of its Hillsboro Airport runway safety area project.
  • Oregon Dept of Aviation, $786,954, to install airfield guidance signs, airport beacons, and miscellaneous NAVAID equipment at the Bandon State Airport in Coos County.
  • City of Roseburg, $200,000, to remove obstructions at the Roseburg Regional Airport.