Tom Dent aviation bill unanimously passes House

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OLYMPIA — The House of Representatives unanimously passed a Bill that would increase grant amounts from $250,000 to $750,000 for general aviation projects provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The bill’s sponsor, 13th District Representative Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake), said that removing the $250,000 maximum cap is long overdue.

“The current limit has been in place for over 35 years and has not kept up with inflation,” Dent said. “Raising the limit will add some cost efficiencies to our aviation projects.”

According to Dent, you are seeing projects taking two or three years to complete because it is difficult to get the necessary funding in one grant cycle.

“Not only is that driving up costs, but it is pushing back needed growth and development on our airports and aviation facilities,” he said.

The grant, available through the WSDOT’s Airport Aid Grant Program, has also allowed local airports to leverage millions of federal dollars. Increasing the threshold would give the state more flexibility to invest in high-priority projects.

The measure now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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