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Moscow-Pullman Regional Airport expansion clears hurdle

PULLMAN, WA - The Moscow-Pullman Regional Airport just cleared a major obstacle in it's runway renovation project.

The Moscow-Pullman Regional Airport is in the midst of renovating its runways by widening them to accommodate bigger planes. Horizon airlines services the airport and began operating its fleet of the Q-400 aircraft.

"That aircraft is larger than what the airport was designed for initially, because of that the separations have to be wider than they currently are," said Director Tony Bean. "So we're realigning the runway to meet a safety and a standards issue with an agreement with the FAA."

This past week the project lept over a giant hurdle when the Washington State Department of Transportation agreed to move a future bypass out of a restricted runway zone.

"The FAA said this right away cannot be in this runway protection zone and so it could be a project killer if we had not been able to reach an agreement from the Washington State Department of Transportation to change the alignment of that North bypass," said Pullman City Supervisor John Sherman.

The WSDOT approval means the project is one step closer to being completed, which for the airport could mean more flights, and more carriers.

"That reliability will come up, the flights will come up, the usage will come up, and if the community would like to have different services or the carriers want to look at other options at that point we're able to say yes we can do that," said Bean.

With the final completion date of the project still a year and a half to two years out from now, there's still plenty more to do.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $60 million. Ninety percent of that sum will be provided by the FAA and the remaining 10% will have to come from the Moscow and Pullman communities.
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