Foss Waterway seaplanes? $30K grant will fund a study

Twenty-six Washington airports will receive a share of nearly $12 million in federal, state and local funds to maintain airport pavements, improve safety and enhance security. Of that amount the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contributed $1.1 million through its Airport Aid Grant Program, and used $433,290 in state funds to leverage more than $9 million in federal grants.

Locally, $30,000 in state funds will be directed to the Foss Waterway Development Authority for “planning and environmental investigation for a proposed Foss Waterway seaplane base,” according to a statement released today by WSDOT officials. Similarly, $5,906 in state funds and $224,413 in federal funds will be directed to Pierce County for “Runway 17/35 rehabilitation and design engineering” at Tacoma Narrows Airport.

About two-thirds of the funding for the 32 airport improvement projects are focused on airport pavements. WSDOT places a funding priority on maintaining strong airport pavements to preserve facilities and improve safety. This is the first round of Airport Aid grants awarded during the 2011-2013 biennium. WSDOT anticipates awarding the next round of grants in spring 2012.

Each year, WSDOT’s airport grant program provides funding to many of the state’s 138 public airports, and leverages millions of dollars in federal grants by using a relatively minimal amount of state and local match contributions. These grants aim to support the airport system in Washington that supports more than 171,000 jobs and generates $4.1 billion in wages annually, according to WSDOT officials. WSDOT’s airport grant program is funded by an 11-cent fee on aviation fuel and a portion of the state aircraft registration fees.

For the complete airport project list, visit For more information on WSDOT’s Airport Aid Grant Program, visit