Cantwell, Murray, Kilmer Applaud Important Economic Development Win for Port Angeles Airport
$200,000 grant bolsters efforts to re-establish service between Port Angeles and
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), ranking member on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, and Patty Murray (D-WA) along with Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06), applauded the announcement of $200,000 in funding by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to William R. Fairchild International Airport (CLM) in Port Angeles.
Earlier this summer, Cantwell, Murray, and Kilmer supported the Port of Port Angeles’ application for the development program grant in letters to the DOT. The federal investment leverages local funds generated by community partners to recruit a permanent air carrier to provide service between Port Angeles and Seattle.
"The Olympic Peninsula is a vital part of our state's economic engine. With newly continued commercial flights, William R. Fairchild Airport is primed to see strong passenger growth," said Cantwell. "This grant lays the groundwork to provide a highly sought after flight between the Port Angeles and Seattle – an important economic component to unlocking even greater opportunities and more jobs for the region."
“Restoring commercial air service to William R. Fairchild International Airport is an important way to connect our communities and realize the economic potential of Port Angeles and the Peninsula,” said Senator Murray. “This federal investment will help provide more efficient travel options to the surrounding communities, and support further economic growth by encouraging business development, tourism, and access to the many recreation opportunities on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula.”
“As someone who grew up in Port Angeles, I know how important Fairchild International Airport is,” said Kilmer. “This grant gets us another step closer to restoring commercial service. That's important so folks have an easier way to get to Seattle and other parts of the country. It's also a critical piece of the puzzle for boosting tourism and economic development on the Olympic Peninsula. I look forward to continuing to work with local leaders so we have more flights and travel options for our region.”
“This is an important grant for our community that will help secure airline service and support economic development. We are thankful for the support of Senators Murray and Cantwell, Representative Kilmer, Mokulele Airlines, SeaPort Airlines and many local businesses, public entities and community groups that provided letters of support to help us make a compelling case,” said Karen Goschen, Executive Director of the Port of Port Angeles.
William R. Fairchild Airport is the gateway and primary transportation hub for the Olympic Peninsula, providing passenger and cargo transportation, supporting emergency services, disaster response, and recreational activities for this remote region. The twice-daily flights are expected to bring $346,000 in annual net revenue to the Port by the third year of operations.
In 2014, Kenmore Air ceased service between Port Angeles and Seattle, severely limiting access to commercial flights for the Olympic Peninsula’s communities. The airline’s departure was a blow to many residents and businesses, who relied on air service to Seattle to remain economically competitive. Today, the closest commercial flights are two and a half hours away, making overland travel costly and time-consuming.
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