April 28, 2023

Wyden, Merkley: Seven Oregon Airports Secure Nearly $14 Million for Improvements

FAA grants headed for airports in Hillsboro, Medford, Portland, Lexington, Brookings, North Bend and Ontario

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon airports in Washington, Jackson, Multnomah, Morrow, Curry, Coos and Malheur counties have earned nearly $14 million collectively in federal investment for improvements.

“Airports are essential pieces of infrastructure that propel the economy and contribute to better quality of life for all Oregonians in every corner of our state,” Wyden said. “These federal investments will make these airports in rural and urban Oregon safer as well as more efficient, and I’ll keep battling for airports throughout the state to secure similar resources.”

“Whether flying for recreation, business, or pleasure, Oregonians depend on safe and reliable airport infrastructure,” said Senator Merkley. “These federal investments to airports across the state for critical improvements will allow these hubs to continue to support Oregon’s economy and local businesses and communities for years to come.” 

The $13.93 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration will be distributed in Oregon as follows:

  • $7.26 million to the Port of Portland for the Hillsboro Airport
  • $3.42 million to Jackson County for the Rogue Valley-International Airport.
  • $1.17 million to the Port of Portland for Portland International Airport.
  • $850,126 to Morrow County for Lexington Airport.
  • $594,077 to the City of Brookings for Brookings Airport.  
  • $500,000 to the Coos County Airport District for the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport.
  • $135,000 to the City of Ontario for Ontario Municipal Airport.

“Airport Improvement Program funding is critical to maintaining the safe and efficient operation of our airports,” said Port of Portland Executive Director Curtis Robinhold. “This particular funding will enable us to address an important runway safety issue at Hillsboro Airport.”

“The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport is grateful for this grant award and we can’t wait to get started on our east apron expansion project,” said airport director Amber Judd. “When completed, this larger ramp will enable MFR to park multiple heavy aircraft at a time, such as the DC-10s used each summer to fight the wildfires in our area. Having space for these large aircraft will be a great asset for Medford, and the entire Southern Oregon/Northern California region as a whole.”

“The Lexington airport is very important to the people and economy of Morrow County, and we very much appreciate Senators Wyden's and Merkley’s efforts in securing this funding for improvements to our facility," said Morrow County Commissioner David Sykes. "Their work on this demonstrates our senators' commitment to truly helping every corner of our state."

“The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport is grateful for the support of Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for this much needed capital infrastructure project,” said Theresa Cook, executive director of the Coos County Airport District. “The airport experienced more than a 39% increase in total passenger traffic in 2022 compared to both 2021 and 2018. General aviation aircraft traffic had outgrown available apron parking several years prior. The funding for this apron project ensures that the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport has the ability to safely and economically accommodate our growing passenger and aircraft traffic. Opportunities like this assist in building economic viability in the region and maintaining the airports importance in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.” 

“The City of Ontario Municipal Airport and the citizens of Ontario are extremely grateful for the continued support given by Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for not only this grant, but the many other grants that the City of Ontario continues to seek,” said Ontario City Manager Dan Cummings. “Even though we are not always successful in all the grants we seek, the senators’ offices have always shown support for our community, and it is greatly appreciated. This grant will help us continue to improve our airport and make it a destination for business commerce and personal pleasure.”