ARLINGTON, Wash. – Washington state grants of nearly $1 million will fund 29 different airport projects, 86 percent of which will improve pavement. State grants, combined with local matching contributions ($2.7+ million), enabled WSDOT’s aviation division to leverage about $32 million in federal grants for federally-funded airports. Of the state’s 137 public-use airports, 66 are eligible for federal funds. The remaining 71 rely solely on state and local funds.
“It’s a strength of our grant program that we are able to use a relatively small amount of state dollars to leverage millions in federal funds,” said Tristan Atkins, WSDOT aviation director. “It allows us to make a bigger impact with limited resources.”
Thirty-nine airports competed for grants, requesting a total of about $4 million. WSDOT is typically able to fund about $1 million in Airport Aid Grants every year. The grant program is funded by a user fee of 11 cents per gallon of aviation fuel, along with aircraft registration fees.
WSDOT plans to call for applications for the first round of 2013-2015 biennium grants in March and April 2013. Awards for that round should be announced by July 2013.