Billings, other Montana airports receive $4.6 million in federal funding
Ten Montana airports will receive over $4.6 million for infrastructure expansion and repairs thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The funding, which stems from the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, is being awarded to community airports in Billings, Broadus, Circle, Forsyth, Hardin, Livingston, Malta, Ronan, Shelby and Wolf Point, KXLH reports.
Billings Logan International Airport, located in Montana's largest city, will be awarded nearly $2 million alone.
“Community airports across Montana provide critical transportation services to Montana’s rural communities,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines stated in a news release. “These grants will ensure that Montana’s smaller airports are able to meet rising ridership demands, ensure safe and reliable service for their passengers and meet the long-term economic needs of the communities they serve.”
Billings Logan's funding will specifically be used to fund taxi lane expansions, storm drainage improvements and future underground piping construction, the Billings Gazette reports.
"These AIP grants allow for enhancing safety and continuing the expansion of the Billings Airport and we are grateful to have these needed funds," Billings Director of Aviation and Transit Kevin Ploehn said in another news release.
The FAA states that the Airport Improvement Program was started shortly after World War II and determines distribution of its funds based on national priorities and objectives. The program covers 70 to 75 percent of eligible costs for large to medium size airports and 90 to 95 percent of eligible costs for smaller airports.
"Montana is a vast state, with a large tourism industry that contributes to our economy and supports good paying jobs," Montana Sen. Jon Tester said in the release. "This investment will help connect [Billings] to the rest of the country and world."