Senator Cantwell Announces $3.8 Million Grant for Methow Valley State Airport Improvement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that the Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop, Washington has received $3.8 million through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to make critical improvements to a runway and the airport’s loading and unloading area.

Specifically, the grant will fund a the repair of Runway 13/31 to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards, as well as provide funding for restoration for the airport’s apron, the area where planes park, drop off, and pick up passengers and cargo.

“I am thrilled to see the Methow Valley State Airport reach this important milestone in their airport improvement project. This investment will enable the airport to continue to play an important role in the region's economy, creating job opportunities and providing key connectivity for businesses, students, tourists, and residents of the Methow Valley and Central Washington,” said Senator Cantwell. “Investments in infrastructure like this are critical to keep our economy moving, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure these smart infrastructure investments continue.”

As former chair and current ranking member of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee, Cantwell has made airport infrastructure and air travel high priorities. Since 2014, Cantwell has helped airports across Washington state secure more than $41,240,000 in funding including for airport improvements and increased air travel.  Cantwell has also lead the way in ensuring Sea-Tac Airport has the resources it needs to reduce security wait times, including bomb-sniffing canines.

Cantwell is also a co-sponsor of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017. In addition to reauthorizing the FAA, the bill increases authorized funding for the AIP, which pays for infrastructure like the Methow Valley State Airport’s runway, by $400 million to an annual level of $3.75 billion. The bill also requires a study and recommendations on upgrading and restoring the nation’s airport infrastructure.

The impact of air service on the economy cannot be overstated. In Washington state, 97% of Gross Business Income is generated by businesses within 10 miles of an airport, and 70% by businesses within a short 5 miles of an airport.

Washington is a leader in aerospace manufacturing and aerospace jobs. With more than 132,000 workers and 1,350 aerospace-related companies, aerospace is a key economic driver for the state.  Cantwell has been a tireless defender of the aerospace industry and airline passengers in Washington state, fighting to ensure rural airports have the resources they need, passengers are treated fairly, and the state’s manufacturers can compete and win on the world stage.