Dent introduces legislation requesting FAA to keep TRACON facilities at Grant County International Airport

Rep. Tom Dent has introduced legislation requesting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) keep Grant County International Airport's Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities open as opposed to consolidating them with Spokane's TRACON. The FAA is currently reviewing potential realignment and consolidation of TRACON facilities.

Dent, who has more than 40 years of experience in the aviation industry, says the TRACON facilities in Grant County provide a number of jobs and vital services to the region.

“The Grant County International Airport has one of the largest runways in the country and can meet the needs of the largest aircraft in the world,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “Combine that with the TRACON facilities, and it serves the unique needs of the military and aerospace sector from across the nation. Such needs include military and pilot training, aircraft and pilot testing, aircraft certification, and emergency preparedness. If the TRACON facilities are relocated, we will lose the ability to efficiently blend these important activities together.”

Dent's measure, House Joint Memorial 4013, focuses on a number of benefits TRACON brings to the region, including opportunities for potential future pilots.

“For students at Big Bend Community College who are enrolled in aviation training to become pilots, the TRACON facilities at Grant County International Airport provide a unique experience not available at other facilities,” he said.

Dent says the TRACON facilities also play an important emergency preparedness role.

“The United States Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources use these facilities for aerial wildfire training, as well as to stage and deploy aerial wildfire tankers. I cannot overstate the importance of this kind of emergency preparedness given the extreme wildfires we have had the last few years,” said Dent. “Meeting this critical need while providing military services and higher education opportunities demonstrates the benefits of TRACON facilities to this region. We want to ensure these facilities are made permanent at Grant County International Airport and do not become casualties of consolidation.”

House Joint Memorials are used by legislators to send specific messages to Congress and the president. While not necessarily carrying the weight of law, they are commonly referred to as the collective voice of the Legislature.

HJM 4013 has been referred to the House Transportation Committee, where it awaits further action.


Washington State House Republican Communications