The Moscow-Pullman Regional Airport is assessing the environmental impact of moving its runway.
The City of Moscow accepted in advance a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help pay for the assessment.
According to the city council agenda from Aug. 20, the grant — $2,920,708–will pay for the assessment.
The total project is estimated to cost $3,245,231, which would mean local funding of $324,523 will be required and will be paid with passenger facility charges, according to the City Council.
The process of moving the runway has been going on for about 20 years, according to Tony Bean, executive director of the airport.
“This is an old process,” Bean said.
He said larger planes land at the airport than they initially thought, including ones flown by Horizon Air.
In order to meet FAA standards, runways have to be a certain distance apart. Current runways do not meet this standard.
Bean said the airport is very important to university and other regional travel. It is the only airport between Lewiston and Spokane.
In order to move the runway, some of the hills around the airport would be leveled, and there would be impacts on the wetlands in the area.
The project is slated to go forward in 2015, pending the results of the environmental assessment.
Kasen Christensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org