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Local airports land a share of federal infrastructure funding

by Lake County Leader
| December 20, 2021 1:00 PM

The airports in Ronan and Polson will receive new federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency announced last week.

Both airports will be awarded $159,000 in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fiscal year 2022 funding.

Sixty-nine Montana airports will receive funding, thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. A total of $144 million will be disbursed over five years through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Grants.

These grants can be used to construct or repair runways and taxiways, as well as make terminal and gate improvements.

In addition to airport funding, the bipartisan bill will also support $2.82 billion for Montana’s roads, highways and bridges; $1 billion to complete all authorized rural water projects through the Bureau of Reclamation; $42.45 billion for broadband deployment to low-connectivity areas across the country; and $3.37 billion to reduce wildfire risk nationwide, among other initiatives. The law is projected to create more than 800,000 American jobs.

All of the iron, steel and construction materials used for these projects will be required to be made in America.

“Montana’s airports are essential to keeping our state connected and our economy strong,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., a lead author of the bill. “This funding from my bipartisan infrastructure package will ensure that our airports can make urgently needed repairs, continue to grow and support Montana travel, and create good paying jobs in the process.”

Elsewhere in the region, Plains and Thompson Falls airports will be awarded $110,000 each. Airports in Libby and Eureka will receive $159,000 each.

Glacier Park International Airport will be awarded $2,864,698, and the Kalispell City Airport will receive $159,000.

The largest allocations will go to Bozeman Yellowstone International, $4,260,662; Billings Logan International, $3,736,937; and Missoula International, $3,433,751.