Gov. Inslee signs into law two bills to strengthen state aviation investments

In early April, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law two bills aimed at improving the health and viability of Washington’s aviation system.

House Bill 1018, signed on April 19, increases the funding cap on a single state airport aid grant from $250,000 to $750,000. The new law uses existing revenues from the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Airport Aid Grant Program, and only increases the maximum amount of funds for which an airport can apply. A higher state airport grant cap will enable airports to apply for and complete larger, high-priority projects more efficiently.

WSDOT is currently accepting applications for 2017 grant awards.

Additionally, House Bill 1400, signed on April 14, authorizes the first-ever Washington State Aviation specialty license plate. Of the plate’s total cost, (varying from $40 for new and $30 for renewals) $28 from each purchase will support public-use airport infrastructure projects related to disaster response improvements, economic development and access enhancements, and infrastructure-related awareness programs.

WSDOT is currently coordinating with the Washington State Aviation Alliance and the Washington Department of Licensing to finalize the plate design. Aviation license plates are expected to be available in July 2017.

Rep. Tom Dent, R-13th District, was the primary sponsor for HB 1018 and HB 1400.