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Saturday, July 11, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Small airports in Idaho and Washington get federal funds

UPDATED: Wed., July 1, 2020

A statue of Medal of Honor winner Gregory "Pappy" Boyington stands at Pappy Boyington Field in Hayden on Friday, August 16, 2013.   (KATHY PLONKA/The Spokesman-Review)
A statue of Medal of Honor winner Gregory "Pappy" Boyington stands at Pappy Boyington Field in Hayden on Friday, August 16, 2013.  (KATHY PLONKA/The Spokesman-Review)

Several small area airports, from Wilbur to Bonners Ferry, will receive federal grants for upgrades, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced Tuesday her agency has awarded a total of about $800 million in airport safety and infrastructure grants through the Federal Aviation Administration.

The list of projects includes $1.86 million for the Coeur d’Alene Airport, also known as Pappy Boyington Field, in Hayden to build an access road and taxiway. It also includes funding for other small airports in the region as part of grants to 46 states, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands.

“This nearly $800 million Federal investment in airport infrastructure will strengthen safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide many economic benefits for local communities,” Chao said in a news release.

Of the overall funding, about $104.4 million is coming through the CARES Act, which was designed to help cover the cost of the pandemic. The news release did not explain how airport projects will help in that regard.

The grants will be used for a variety of infrastructure and safety projects. Some of the projects include purchasing aircraft and rescue and firefighting equipment, building runways and taxiways, repairing runways and taxiways, installing aircraft lighting and signage, conducting airport master plan studies and installing airport perimeter fencing.

“These 383 grants will allow airport sponsors to either begin or complete construction projects that will maintain the safety and efficiency of our national airport system,” FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson said in the release.

In North Idaho, the Sandpoint Airport will receive $64,280 to purchase an easement for approaches; Boundary County Airport in Bonners Ferry will receive $238,888 to construct a building for snow removal equipment; and St. Maries Municipal Airport will receive $27,777 for perimeter fencing.

In Washington, Lake Chelan Airport will receive $333,333 to rehabilitate a runway; Davenport Airport will receive $530,623 to extend a runway and add lighting; and the Wilbur Airport will receive $166,666 to reseal the taxiway pavement.

Spokane International Airport was not on the list of airports receiving funding.

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