The state’s 138 public-use airports are one flying high today after the Washington State Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 5337, sponsored by Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington.
The bill would allow privately owned airports to apply for state grants and loans funded from aircraft taxes and dealer license and registration fees.
“Currently, only municipal and tribal airports are allowed to apply for the funds paid by aircraft owners and dealers,” said Stevens. “Yet these pilots use all of Washington’s 138 public-use airports. This bill goes to bat for the many privately owned airports that serve our communities in countless ways. Often they provide the fastest lifeline over the mountains from a remote area or they’re the only airport available to local private pilots. This recession has hit airports hard and many are struggling. My bill will give them a fighting chance.”
Aircraft owners and dealers in Washington pay a variety of taxes and fees into the state Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Account, which also receives some federal grants.
The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.