WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 26, 2018) — Today, the House passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302), which includes two provisions championed by Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. The Congresswoman’s provisions included in the bill will exempt airports, including the Walla Walla Regional Airport, with more than 25,000 passenger enplanements from any cost-share requirements under the contract tower program, and prohibit the elimination of the Contract Weather Observer program through 2023 for the Spokane International Airport. Additionally, this legislation authorizes Airport Improvement Funding, which has provided substantial grants to the Spokane International Airport, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, and the Walla Walla Regional Airport.
“The FAA Reauthorization Act is an important part of our infrastructure agenda. I am proud to have voted for this bill as it will modernize our aviation infrastructure and ensure airports are safer and more secure for the American people,” said McMorris Rodgers. “I made sure this bill included important priorities for the Spokane International Airport, and the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport and the Walla Walla Regional Airport. Because of these provisions these airports in Eastern Washington will be Better Off Now.”
Cathy included a provision that exempts airports with more than 25,000 passenger enplanements in calendar year 2014 from any cost-share requirements under the contract tower program. It is expected to “save Walla Walla Regional Airport approximately $90,000 per year. We are grateful to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for fighting to include the Contract Tower Cost-Share amendment in FAA” said Port of Walla Walla Executive Director Pat Reay.
Cathy championed another provision for Eastern Washington that prohibits the elimination of the Contract Weather Observer (CWO) program through 2023. This “is critical to maintaining the aviation safety at Spokane International Airport,” said Larry Krauter, Chief Executive Officer of Spokane International Airport.