Daines Secures Over $1.5 Million for Fort Benton and West Yellowstone Airports

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that $1,588,825 million will be directed to Montana airports, with $1,175,365 going to Fort Benton Airport in Chouteau County and $413,460 going to West Yellowstone Airport in Gallatin County.

“Safe and reliable air travel is vital to Montana’s economy,” Daines said. “These grants will ensure that the folks of Chouteau and Gallatin Counties have the resources they need to improve and expand Fort Benton and West Yellowstone Airports. This will also help lead to greater access for Montana’s visitors and a thriving tourism industry.”


Daines has been active in pushing for Montana’s priorities for air travel and infrastructure

On October 10th, 2018, Daines was able to secure major wins for Montana airports when President Donald J. Trump signed a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Daines secured the following wins in the FAA reauthorization:

  • Includes Daines’ bipartisan bill to allow West Yellowstone Airport to receive increased Airport Improvement Program Grants. Daines introduced the bill in September.
  • Reauthorizes the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) for five years at $10 million. SCASDP enables rural and small community air service to grow. SCASDP has helped to expand service in Butte, Kalispell, Bozeman, Missoula, West Yellowstone, Helena and Great Falls, including bringing American Airlines to Montana.
  • Provides approach control radar to the FAA tower at the Helena Airport. Currently, Helena is one of only two FAA towers in the nation that does not have approach control radar.
  • Authorizes Essential Air Service for five years which is critical to rural connectivity. Essential Air Service ensures that small, rural communities have access to the national air transportation system.
  • Prioritizes airport construction projects in cold weather states like Montana.
  • Requirement of sanitary “Mother’s Rooms” for nursing mothers in all large and medium commercial airports. Daines has been an advocate for expanding resources for nursing mothers, including introducing the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, requiring all federal buildings to have “Mother’s Rooms.”
  • Reforms several FEMA programs enabling state, local, and tribal governments to focus on proactively preparing for natural disasters.
  • Provides additional authority for hazard mitigation assistance in areas affected by wildfires. During Montana’s devastating 2017 wildfire season, Montana was granted eight FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grants. These funds are critical in helping Montana communities recover and in mitigating the risk of future loss and damage from wildfires.