Port of Moses Lake receives $1M state grant

By Tiffany Sukola, December 9, 2012, Columbia Basin Herald

A Port of Moses Lake hangar renovation project will move forward, after the port recently received a $1 million grant from the state Department of Commerce’s Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB).

The grant will fund the renovation of the Grant County International Airport’s Hangar 1 and the nearby runway ramp.

The expansion project is expected to be completed and fully operational by the end of June next year, said Port of Moses Lake Executive Director Pat Jones. Project specifics include adding a new 400-hertz aircraft power system, new lighting and new circulating fans, he said.

Aviation Technical Services, an aircraft maintenance and repair provider headquartered in Everett, has been operating out of the airport’s Hangar 1 since August of this year. With the renovations funded by the CERB grant, ATS will be able to add to its current operations, said Jones.

The expansion will bring new aviation maintenance and repair projects to the port, bringing in an estimated 200 new aviation jobs to the area, according to a Port of Moses Lake press release.

“The impact of this grant on the Port will be significant,” said Jones. “The new jobs from the ATS expansion and the level of new service they will offer here will allow us to attract more traffic to the airport and add to the economic vitality for the region as an aerospace hub.”

The Port of Moses Lake was one of dozens of projects statewide to receive a portion of the overall $12 million grant funding awarded by the Department of Commerce. CERB grants were given to projects in Washington that support the growth of local economies.

“Aviation Technical Services is very excited at the opportunity to partner with the Port of Moses Lake to bring additional commercial aircraft maintenance and jobs to Washington state,” said Matt Yerbic, ATS president and CEO. “We have a long history of doing business in Washington and we are proud to be a part of expanding our service in the state.

Port Commission President Mike Conley said infrastructure investments like the Hangar 1 expansion project lead to future job growth.

“We really appreciate the partnership of ATS as well as the state in growing our aviation-related jobs through investments in our facilities,” he said. “Our airport is a fantastic location for doing business, and a real asset to the state and the aerospace industry.”

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