(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced a total of over $8.3 million in federal support for critical airport improvement projects across Washington state, including a $1,000,000 grant for the Port of Whitman County Business Air Center in Colfax.   

The Business Air Center will use this grant – provided through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) – to construct a parallel taxiway and improve the runway safety area.  The parallel taxiway will be extended to the full length of the runway, which is necessary to comply with FAA standards.   

"I'm pleased that we are investing in the Port of Whitman County Business Air Center so it can play a strong role in supporting the economy and transportation needs of southeast Washington," said Senator Murray.  "Investing in smaller airports like the Business Air Center is critical to maintaining our transportation infrastructure in rural communities." 

AIP grants, which are administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provide funding for infrastructure improvements that enhance efficiency and safety at airports.  Murray, the Chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the FAA, helped secure this funding in the FY07 THUD Appropriations bill.