Dent’s community airport revitalization loan program bill passes House unanimously

On Saturday, the state House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation introduced by Rep. Tom Dent, aimed at smaller airports that need to fund capital and preservation projects.

House Bill 1030 would put into law the Community Airport Revitalization Board (CARB) loan program. The loan program is only temporary as it was passed as part of the state capital budget two years ago and is set to expire this year.

“This program has been successful over the last couple of years and we want to make it permanent,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “It benefits smaller airports with much needed capital for economic development projects that are not eligible for grant money.”

Washington state has 134 public use airports and 64 are eligible to receive federal funds.

“This loan program would benefit the other 70 airports that are not eligible for federal funds. There was $5 million for the CARB program in the capital budget, and we are looking at getting an additional $5 million this session,” said Dent. “Preserving and maintaining our airports is one of the best things we can do to help economic development in regions with air travel.”

As the only professional pilot in the Legislature, Dent has taken an active interest in aviation issues since being elected in 2014. He became a pilot in 1976, and soon after founded his own aviation business, which offered aerial application and flight instruction.

House Bill 1030 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The 105-day 2021 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 25.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov