Missoula, Kalispell airports pick up FAA grants

Posted at 2:30 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 17:51:40-04

WASHINGTON, DC – There’s some good news — and new money — coming to airports in Missoula and Kalispell.

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Missoula International Airport a grant of more than $9 million to help construct its new airport terminal.

The $9.2 million federal grant was secured through the FAA Airport Improvement Program.

Airport director Cris Jensen said the new terminal is badly needed due to the amazing growth they have seen in passenger numbers over the last several years.

The new facility will help to better accommodate the flying public in the years ahead.

Meanwhile, Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell received two federal grants that will improve safety and expand its terminal.

The $5.7 million in federal funding will help expand its terminal and improve safety by purchasing new aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment.

Montana US senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines released statements saying they helped secure more than $20 million in AIP grants for Montana’s airports last year and has already secured more than $30 million in AIP funding this year.

The FAA program has also provided grants to several other Montana airports including Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls and Helena.

According to a Tuesday release from Montana Senator Steve Daines’ office, the $1 million the Billings airport is getting is part of a larger $47 million in funding that will be given to airports across Montana.

Billings Airport Director of Aviation and Transit Kevin Ploehn said the grant is part of the Airport Improvement Program under the Department of Transportation.

The Airport Improvement Program is made up of money collected from ticket and plane fuel taxes.

Montana Senator John Tester is also taking some credit for the Billings airport grant, saying in a Tuesday release, “In a state as big as Montana, air travel is critical to keeping folks connected and this grant will make air travel in and out of Billings quicker, safer, and more reliable than ever.”

Tester is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Daines wrote, “It’s critical Montana has the best air travel infrastructure in the country. These grants will lead to more jobs and development in Montana’s rural communities.”

Daines is a member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee.