KTVQ Billings: Billings Logan International, rural airports see boost in funding


Billings Logan International Airport will see a considerable boost in funding.

Sen. Steve Daines and Sen. Jon Tester announced the airport will received $2 million in funding for infrastructure improvements.

The funding is part of 10 Montana community airports set to receive $4,661,676 for critical construction and maintenance projects.

Grants will be awarded to airports in Billings, Broadus, Circle, Forsyth, Hardin, Livingston, Malta, Ronan, Shelby and Wolf Point.

“Community airports across Montana provide critical transportation services to Montana’s rural communities,” Daines stated. “These grants will ensure that Montana’s smaller airports are able to meet rising ridership demands, ensure safe and reliable service for their passengers and meet the long-term economic needs of the communities they serve.”

The funding is awarded through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program.

Billings Logan officials will extend existing taxiways and improve the airport’s drainage system to clear water that gathers on the runway and infield.

“These AIP grants allow for enhancing safety and continuing the expansion of the Billings Airport and we are grateful to have these needed funds,” Billings Director of Aviation and Transit Kevin Ploehn said. “The projects being funded include the extension of the east taxi lane so that hangar development can continue on the east end of the Airport. The Storm Drainage project will help with the continuation of storm water enhancement projects the Airport has been pursuing.”

“Montana is a vast state, with a large tourism industry that contributes to our economy and supports good paying jobs,” Tester stated in a press release.  “This investment will help connect the Magic City to the rest of the country and world.”

Tester has introduced several amendments to the FAA reauthorization bill to improve Montana’s air travel infrastructure, increase security at rural airports, and address the skyrocketing costs of air ambulance service across the state.    

Grants awarded today by the Federal Aviation Administration include:

  • Billings Logan International Airport: $400,000 to extend a taxiway, and $1,500,000 to improve airport drainage.
  • Broadus Airport: $112,204 to rehabilitate the airport’s apron, runway and taxiway.
  • Circle Town County Airport: $237,563 to construct a 3,600 square foot hangar building.
  • Tillitt Field Airport (Forsyth): $1,728,919 to construct an access road and taxiway and to rehabilitate the airport’s apron and taxiway.
  • Big Horn County Airport (Hardin): $123,427 to fund construction of a single pump fuel facility.
  • Mission Field Airport (Livingston): $43,572 to rehabilitate the airport’s apron, runways and taxiways.
  • Malta Airport: $81,752 to install weather reporting equipment.
  • Ronan Airport: $202,642 to update the existing airport master plan study to show current and future needs of the airport.
  • Shelby Airport: $150,845 to install and replace runway lighting to enhance safe airfield operations during low visibility conditions, and to rehabilitate apron, runway and taxiway.
  • L.M. Clayton Airport (Wolf Point): $80,752 to install a runway vertical visual guidance system to improve safety and visibility for aircraft and design a 6,400 square foot hangar building.