Cantwell Applauds Important Economic Development Win for Tri-Cities Airport

$750,000 grant bolsters efforts to provide first-ever direct service between the Tri-Cities and Los Angeles, CA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), ranking member on the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, applauded the announcement of $750,000 in funding by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Port of Pasco and the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) grant was supplemented by $300,000 in matching funds from the surrounding community, and will provide initial funding and marketing support for the areas’ first-ever, non-stop daily service to Southern California.

In July, Cantwell supported the Tri-Cities Airport’s application for the development program grant in a letter to the DOT.

"The Tri-Cities area is a vital part of our state's economic engine. Between the terminal expansion and new destinations to choose from, the Tri-Cities Airport is primed to see strong passenger growth," said Senator Cantwell. "This grant lays the groundwork to provide a highly sought after daily flight between the Tri-Cities and Southern California – an important economic component to unlocking even greater opportunities and more jobs for the region."

The Tri-Cities Airport is the gateway and primary transportation hub for more than one million residents in counties across southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. More passengers fly between the Tri-Cities and Los Angeles every day than to any other destination. This grant is the first step toward providing a daily, non-stop flight to southern California.

“We are thrilled to have received the SCASD grant and hope that we will be adding direct, daily LA service for our Tri-Cities passengers in the very near future. This grant award is the result of unprecedented support from Senator Cantwell and our community partners. It’s a huge win for the whole Tri-Cities region,” Randy Hayden, executive director of the Port of Pasco.

Over that last five years, the Tri-Cities Airport has experienced a 50 percent increase in passenger boardings and expect to increase passenger enplanements to nearly 500,000 in the coming decade. To ensure increasing regional demand can be met the Cities of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Benton and Franklin Counties, and local businesses made a significant investment of $300,000 in matching funds

Due to the tremendous economic and population growth in the Tri-Cities, this grant to the Airport in Pasco is critical to the economic vitality of the region. It will open access to new markets and provide high-demand air service to residents and business without making them travel to larger airports hours away.