Independent Record: Montana airports to share $29.3M in federal infrastructure funds

by Phil Drake

Helena Regional Airport was recently given $1.4 million from nearly $30 million allocated for Montana’s airports for repairs and improvements for runways, sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit connections and roadway projects.

This $29,315,277 in funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and is awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Grants, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, said.

Tester said late last month that he negotiated the IIJA with five Republicans, four Democrats and President Joe Biden. He said he was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to support the legislation. There was $144 million secured for Montana’s airports through the IIJA, which will be awarded over five years. He called the money an investment, noting Montanans rely on safe and reliable service from rural and regional airports.

This funding can be used to build or repair runways and taxiways as well as make terminal and gate improvements.

Helena airport director Jeff Wadekamper said this is the second year the airport has received the money and said the $1,453,336 will be put to good use.

He said some of the funds will go to pavement work, some for new equipment and building repairs, some for land acquisition to buy property south of the airport.

“It’s great,” Wadekamper said. “It definitely will help with an airport facility such as ours.”

Funding breakdown

The $29,315,277 in funding has been awarded to:

$1,452,336 for Helena Regional Airport

$3,698,238 for Billings Logan International Airport

$4,940,871 for Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

$1,012,406 for Bert Mooney Airport in Butte

$1,881,476 for Great Falls International Airport

$3,254,113 for Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell

$3,429,372 for Missoula Airport

$1,004,456 for Sidney-Richland Regional Airport

$1,005,009 for Yellowstone Airport

Airports receiving $113,000:

Bowman Field, Anaconda; Big Timber Airport; Broadus Airport; Liberty County Airport, Chester; Edgar G Obie Airport, Chinook; Choteau Airport; Circle Town County Airport; Colstrip Airport; Woltermann Memorial Airport, Columbus; Conrad Airport; Big Sky Field, Big Sky and Cut Bank International Airport.

Ekalaka Airport, Gardiner Airport, Geraldine Airport, Dawson Community, Glendive; Big Horn County Airport, Hardin; Harlem Airport; Wheatland County Airport, Harlowton; Jordan Airport; Libby Airport; Lincoln Airport; Mission Field, Livingston: Riddick Field, Phillipsburg and Plains Airport.

Sher-Wood Airport, Plentywood; Poplar Municipal Airport; Scobey Airport; Malta Airport; Mineral County Airport, Superior; Terry Airport; Thompson Falls Airport; Turner Airport; Ruby Valley Field, Twin Bridges; White Sulphur Springs Airport and Winifred Airport.

Montana airports receiving $144,000:

Baker Municipal Airport; Big Sandy Airport; Havre City‐County Airport; Kalispell City Airport; Laurel Municipal Airport; Lewistown Municipal; Deer Lodge‐City‐County Airport; Dillon Airport; Ennis Big Sky Airport; Eureka Airport; Tillitt Field Airport, Forsyth; Fort Benton Airport and Wokal Field/Glasgow‐Valley County.

Ravalli County Airport, Hamilton; Frank Wiley Field, Miles City; Polson Airport; Red Lodge Airport; Ronan Airport; Roundup Airport; Shelby Airport; Stanford/Biggerstaff Field; Stevensville Airport; Three Forks Airport; Townsend Airport and L.M. Clayton Airport, Wolf Point