NORTH BEND, Ore. — The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend is getting a multi-million dollar grant from the federal Airport Improvement Program.
Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden made the announcement Tuesday.
The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport will be receiving $6.6 million to build an aircraft rescue and firefighting building.
Airport officials say they are very excited to receive the help.
“We just recently had to discontinue use of our 75-year-old ARFF building due to the mold and draftiness of the facility that left our firefighters and expensive ARFF vehicles outdoors at times and in transient hangar facilities,” Theresa Cook, executive director of the Coos County Airport District says, “This grant will allow us to build new facilities to protect our vehicles and support our firefighters.”
“Small airports connect rural Oregon to economic opportunity, wildfire fighting resources, and more,” Senator Jeff Merkley says, “I’ve seen firsthand the updates our small airports need to continue to serve rural communities, and I will continue to use my seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to fight for these much-needed improvement grants for our airports.”
“A key piece to quality of life throughout rural Oregon is a dependable airport that can link smaller communities to job-creating opportunities and provide needed protections from wildfires,” Senator Wyden says, “These resources for Coos and Grant counties help to fill those needs and I am glad to have worked with Senator Merkley to secure support for these two airports.”
$6.3 million is going to the Grant County Regional Airport in John Day to improve runway safety. According to the FAA, the AIP’s airport grant program funds infrastructure projects like runways, taxiways, airport signage, airport lighting, and airport markings.