Cantwell Calls on DOT to Help Fund Spokane International Airport Terminal Expansion

Project would aid in increasing capacity for new flights and nonstop destinations for rapidly-growing region

SPOKANE, WA – Today, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) held a press conference at Spokane International Airport highlighting the facility’s need to expand its air travel capacity to keep up with the region’s rapid growth.

In remarks alongside airport leaders and regional economic stakeholders, Sen. Cantwell voiced her ongoing support for a project to renovate and add additional gates to Terminal C, which would aid in increasing flight frequency for existing routes and connecting Eastern Washington to new nonstop destinations.

“We know very well that companies like to locate close to airports. It helps cuts down on costs, it helps them to reach markets,” Sen. Cantwell said. “We need to make sure that Congress continues to make investments in these important projects.”

“Modern, resilient and sustainable airports will help strengthen our supply chain, help our U.S. businesses compete in a global economy, and get our consumers where they need to go,” Sen. Cantwell continued. “I'm proud to support this application, and hope that the Department of Transportation will act very soon, hopefully within the next few days, to let us know about this investment request.”

Spokane International Airport has applied for an Airport Terminal Program (ATP) grant, which is a competitive grant program funded through the Biden-Harris Infrastructure Law, to help fund its multiphase Terminal Renovation and Expansion project (TREX). Sen. Cantwell previously provided a letter of support for the airport’s grant application to the Department of Transportation.

Work on the TREX project is scheduled to begin in August. With ATP funding, the airport can begin Phase I, which will add three additional gates, expand the existing ticketing area, upgrade mechanical and HVAC systems and consolidate the baggage system, improving overall accessibility.

“It is remarkable to note that this project is the first substantial investment in terminal building expansion and renovation in over 23 years. The TREX project will deliver substantial benefits to our community. First and foremost, it gives us more gate capacity to help our airline partners to expand service to new cities or to increase frequencies within their existing networks,” said Larry Krauter, CEO of the Spokane Regional Airport.

“Not only is this project mission-critical to the Spokane Airport – it is economically impactful to the city of Spokane, to our local region and to the State of Washington. This project incorporates a wide variety of work that’s going to require specific skills from craftsmen represented by all building trades,” said Hollis Barnett, Vice President of Garco Construction.

“The airport is a key driver of our region’s economic success, and the impacts of this exciting project will be immediate and long lasting. The TREX project will create more than 1,600 direct and indirect construction jobs,” said Mark Mattke, CEO of the Spokane Workforce Council. “Spokane is actually one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. – Spokane County’s population has grown three times as fast as Washington state overall in the last year, and 10 times as fast as the rest of the U.S.”

Last year, Sen. Cantwell worked hard to secure funding for air travel infrastructure nationwide as part of the Biden-Harris Infrastructure Law. With her support, the infrastructure package provided a total of $25 billion for airport improvements and Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facilities. She also helped to secure $16 million for Spokane Regional Airport in Airport Rescue Grants to help weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video from today’s event is available HERE, audio HERE, and a full transcript HERE.