Cantwell Announces Grant to Add Air Service to Yakima

USDOT grant to support adding service to Portland and additional daily flight to Seattle

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that the Yakima Airport will receive a $290,000 federal grant through the Small Community Air Service Development Grant Program to support expanding air service to Seattle and establishing a new daily flight to Portland.

Cantwell, Chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security, supported the grant in a July letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The federal grant, matched by $290,000 from the City of Yakima, will be used to support a marketing campaign for a fourth daily flight on Alaska Airlines between Yakima and Seattle. It also will support developing a new direct flight on Alaska Airlines to Portland, which includes revenue guarantees for the airline.

“This investment is a shot in the arm for economic development in the Yakima Valley,” Cantwell said. “This grant will support Yakima Air Terminal’s growth, with more flights to Seattle and Portland. Yakima is a key agriculture and manufacturing hub for our economy. Growing air service in Yakima will help the area grow more jobs.”

In the July letter, Cantwell wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in support of the city’s grant application. The enhancement of air service to and from Yakima is critical for continued economic development and sustainability,” Cantwell wrote in the letter. “It will improve travel connections for Yakima's business and residential community as well as enhance the attraction of Yakima as a tourist destination in the region.”

The USDOT Small Community Air Service Development grant is used to either support existing air service or build new service. With Cantwell’s support, several airports in Washington state have used the grants to launch efforts to preserve or expand air service. Cantwell was a Senate leader in passing the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill in 2012 that continued the Small Community Air Service Development Grant Program.