Top priority of airport stakeholders; total cost $15 million, due by fall 2025
WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Wednesday that the Bend Municipal Airport will receive $1.6 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to invest toward the $15 million cost of building a permanent control tower.
“Reliable and safe air service is crucial for Oregonians and our state’s economy,” Wyden said. “I am gratified to see these dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I worked to pass go toward building a permanent control tower in Bend—one of our state’s busiest airports. Investing in airport infrastructure lays the groundwork for this Central Oregon airport to continue supporting our state’s economic growth and tourism.”
“Whether flying for recreation or business, Oregonians’ access to safe and reliable air travel is vital to driving Oregon’s economy forward and growing local tourism,” Merkley said. “These federal investments to support the construction of a permanent control tower at the Bend Airport will help ensure the region has the critical infrastructure necessary to support and promote air travel for Oregon businesses, travelers, and tourists.”
“In a 2019 survey for the Airport Master Plan, airport stakeholders agreed the #1 most desired safety improvement project is for an air traffic control tower at the Bend Airport. Thanks to funding support from Senators Wyden and Merkley, tower construction should be complete and operational by October 2025,” said Tracy Williams, Bend Municipal Airport Manager.
Williams told NewsChannel 21 Wednesday the added funding is “great news,” and takes the total committed so far to about $10 million.
“If there is a funding shortfall based on actual construction cost, we expect to close the funding gap with additional grants,” she added.
For those seeking more information, there’s a 175-page siting report submitted last December to the FAA by the city.