News Releases

New grant a major step forward for job growth, commerce, and tourism in the Wenatchee Valley

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Aviation Subcommittee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Pangborn Memorial Airport in Wenatchee is receiving a $750,000 grant to help establish much-needed nonstop air service to the San Francisco Bay Area, which would boost business and leisure travel between the two regions. The grant is awarded under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP).

Both senators wrote letters of support to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao expressing their strong support for Pangborn Memorial Airport’s application.

“This is a major step forward for job growth, commerce, and tourism in the Wenatchee Valley, one the local community has worked hard to make happen,” Senator Cantwell said. “With a growing cluster of technology companies in the region, this route would provide an important link that would allow for continued economic growth, as well as boost tourism around the area’s many recreational opportunities.”

“Wenatchee is one of Washington state’s economic and tourism crown jewels, and this major investment will help promote essential commerce and job growth while strengthening vital connections to and from Central Washington,” said Senator Murray. “I will continue working in Congress to increase federal investments that benefit families and businesses in Wenatchee and throughout our state.”

“I want to thank Senators Cantwell and Murray and other delegation members for their enthusiastic support for our grant application. USDOT’s approval of this application is a great day for the Wenatchee region.  Air service to the San Francisco Bay area will create wonderful new opportunities for high-tech business development and expanded tourism,” said Port of Chelan Commission President Rory Turner.

The Wenatchee community has rallied around the effort to establish nonstop air service from Pangborn Memorial Airport to San Francisco. More than 50 Central Washington businesses and organizations joined with the senators to support the SCASDP application, and more than 100 local pledgers helped raise over $400,000 to match the airport’s grant request. The SCASDP award received by the airport would enable it to begin efforts to recruit an air carrier for the route by offering short-term risk-offsets while the market for the flights fully establishes itself.