News Releases

Murray Announces $4.5 million for Spokane International Airport

Jul 02 2003

Murray had secured the funding in the 2003 Appropriations Bill and pushed FAA to Issue Grants for Spokane

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that $4.5 million in federal funds will be issued to Spokane International Airport (GEG) for security enhancements and to improve the airport’s Taxiway G. The funding enables Spokane International to keep pace with the changing needs of the community and help with the rapid growth of passengers flying in and out of the airport.



Murray, the Senior Democrat on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, earmarked the funding in the 2003 Appropriations bill. Two weeks ago she sent a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey urging the FAA to immediately release the funding for Spokane.



“This is a project that I strongly support and provided with funding totaling $8 million in the last two fiscal years’ appropriations bills,” Murray wrote to Adm. Marion Blakey on June 18, 2003. “Regretfully, the Airport reports that the FAA has only allotted $2.2 million of these funds for this project and all of which were for Part I. Therefore, I respectfully request that you apply, to the greatest extent possible, the funds that we have previously directed to ensure the completion of Part II of this project in a timeline that is uniform with its design specifications.”



Today, the FAA responded to Murray’s request, and said it would release the $4.5 million for Spokane.



The funding will be used to construct new service roads, taxiways and install new taxiway lighting. New and wider taxiways are needed to comply with FAA regulations. These funds will improve safety and efficiency for the airplanes on the runways.



In addition to the developments of taxiways, the funding will be used for security enhancements including replacing video surveillance system with a new digital system.



“I am delighted that the F.A.A. Administrator has heeded my request and will send this funding to Spokane, which will keep the taxiway project on schedule.” Murray said. “Safety and efficiency are top priorities for passengers, but the costs of airport improvements should not fall on local taxpayers alone. That’s why I secured this federal funding, and why I will continue to stand up for Spokane International Airport and the thousands of passengers who use it.



The federal grant was released by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.



A copy of Murray’s letter to Marion Blakey follows:







June 18, 2003

The Honorable Marion C. Blakey
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591


Dear Administrator Blakey:

I have been recently contacted by Spokane International Airport regarding their concerns over federal funding for their Taxiway G construction project. This project is an integral part of their air cargo development strategy and is consistent with the FAA’s goal of reducing runway incursions. The $20 million project is being constructed in two parts. Funding for the first part has been fully secured. The second phase, which has been publicly bid and is now ready to be awarded, is reportedly nearly $5 million short of funds.

This is a project that I strongly support and provided with funding totaling $8 million in the last two fiscal years’ appropriation bills. Regretfully, the Airport reports that the FAA has only allotted $2.2 million of these funds for this project and all of which were for Part I. Therefore, I respectfully request that you apply, to the greatest extent possible, the funds that we have previously directed to ensure the completion of Part II of this project in a timeline that is uniform with its design specifications.



Clearly, this project is a priority to the Airport and my office.



I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this request.



Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senate