Budget Delays In Washington DC Impact Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport

Budget Delays In Washington DC Impact Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport

The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport will not have Alaska-Horizon Air service next week for five days and because of the budget impasse in Washington DC, the scheduled fresh coat of asphalt for the runway will have to wait until next year.

The airport will not have commercial airline service from Tuesday, July 26 through the late flight on Saturday, July 30.  Full service from Alaska-Horizon will resume with the 6:40 am flight on Sunday, July 31. But the airport will be open during the period for general aviation.

As early as March, the airport was notified by the Seattle office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it was slated for funding for a $3 million project to overlay the runway, repair ramps, and improve taxiway markings along with other enhancements.  The federal government would have paid 95 percent of the project and the airport would come up with the five percent from passenger facility fees.  But as in the case of all FAA authorizations, the money programmed was contingent upon funding by Congress.

Airport management put the project out for bid and requested Alaska-Horizon staff to determine what five-day period would have the least impact on their flight schedule out of Pullman.  In March, Alaska-Horizon took the five days out of its schedule to accommodate the anticipated runway closure for the runway overlay project. That now leaves Pullman with an airport open, but with no commercial service for these five days in July.

“Every time we have a project authorized by the FAA we know that it’s not 100-percent certain that funds will be there,” said Tony Bean, airport manager.  “In most cases, the projects are funded but with this runway overlay project the funds were not available due to the lack of long-term funding authority granted by Congress. Bean said the runway project is now delayed until next summer.

For every passenger who departs from the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, the airport receives a $4.50 in passenger facility fee that the airport uses to help with its five percent match with the FAA approved projects.   Bean estimated that the five days without Alaska-Horizon service would mean a loss of revenue of about $1,000 a day from not receiving passenger facility fees and fees for landings, parking and rental cars.