Sidney Herald: Sidney-Richland airport to receive $5 million from infrastructure bill

by Mark Berryman

According to a press release by U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), the Sidney-Richland Regional Airport will be getting a chunk of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds.

Tester announced the airport will receive $5,038,365 in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding over next five years as a part of the law. Tester stated the airport would receive the first allocation of these funds, $1,006,615, during Fiscal Year 2022.

“Sidney-Richland Regional Airport is essential to keeping Sidney connected and Richland County’s economy strong,” said Tester. “This funding from my bipartisan infrastructure package will ensure that our airports can make urgently needed repairs, continue to grow and support Montana travel, and create good paying jobs in the process.”

The funding Tester announced today is a part of approximately $144 million for 69 Montana airports he secured through the bipartisan infrastructure law. The funding will be awarded over five years through FAA Airport Improvement Grants, which can be used to construct or repair runways and taxiways as well as make terminal and gate improvements. Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for the legislation.

According to the press release, Tester worked across the aisle for months to negotiate this agreement with a group of five Republicans, four Democrats, and the White House. The law is projected to create more than 800,000 American jobs and lower costs for businesses by making targeted investments that will strengthen our nation without raising taxes on working families.As a lead author of the bill, Tester made sure that the law does not raise taxes. He secured significant wins for Montana in the law, including $2.82 billion for Montana’s roads, highways and bridges; up to $100 million for the Milk River Project and $1 billion to complete all authorized rural water projects through the Bureau of Reclamation; $42.45 billion for broadband deployment to low-connectivity areas across the country; and $3.37 billion to reduce wildfire risk nationwide, among others. Tester stated he also worked to ensure that all iron, steel, and construction materials used for these projects must be made in America.

Other airports in this area receiving annual funds include Wokal Field/Glasgow-Valley County ($159,000), Dawson Community ($159,000), Havre City-County ($159,000), Frank Wiley Field in Miles City ($159,000), Circle Town County ($110,000), Big Sky Field in Culbertson ($110,000) and Sher-Wood in Plentywood ($110,000).