Regional airports join call for more transportation funds


Four Central Oregon airports make push to receive slice of ConnectOregon cash.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Four Central Oregon airports are making push to receive a slice of the ConnectOregon cash.

Lawmakers have $45 million to dole out to “nonhighway infrastructure” projects under the program.

In Central Oregon, the money would mean more support for four of the region’s six airports, which are looking to expand after lagging through the recession. The airports in Bend, Sunriver, Sisters and Prineville each requested money they say would help attract tourists to the area and improve safety as air traffic increases.

“Our traffic count went from approximately 98,000 a year to almost 140,000. A big share of that was helicopters, but the fixed-wing has increased also. We don’t really see that tapering off,” Gary Judd, manager of the Bend Municipal Airport, said last week.

(READ MORE: Bend Bulletin)

The state government pushed a major transportation funding reform to the 2016 session.

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