04.27.18

Kilmer Amends FAA Bill to Protect Rural Airports like Fairchild International Airport from Funding Cuts

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill that reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill includes an amendment offered by Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to require the FAA to consider community emergency response needs when determining the amount of funding that airport will receive under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Kilmer authored the amendment to protect regional airports in communities like Port Angeles, where the Fairchild International Airport is a vital emergency lifeline and economic driver.

“Regional airports like Fairchild are vital emergency and economic lifelines that keep us safe and support jobs and our economy.  We need to make sure the federal government recognizes that.  This amendment requires the FAA to consider our community’s emergency preparedness plans when it makes runway funding decisions.” Rep. Derek Kilmer said. “I’ll keep pushing for our region’s rural airports.”

Last year, the FAA considered cutting the AIP funding that Fairchild Airport receives to maintain the airport’s runway.  Kilmer, the Washington National Guard and county and local leaders successfully worked with the FAA to prevent the cuts because it would have resulted in a shorter runway. That, in turn, would have limited the size of planes that could take off and land at the airport in an emergency such as a forest fire or earthquake. The region’s residents also rely on the current runway to quickly reach advanced medical care at hospitals in Seattle and Portland.

Kilmer’s amendment will help protect future funding for Fairchild Airport and rural airports nationwide. It requires the FAA to explicitly consider the emergency preparedness needs of the communities served by an airport when reviewing its AIP master plan.

At Fairchild, maintaining the current 5,000-foot runway will help support future economic development initiatives being considered by the Port of Port Angeles.

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Press Contact

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill that reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill includes an amendment offered by Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to require the FAA to consider community emergency response needs when determining the amount of funding that airport will receive under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Ki