BURLINGTON — Skagit Regional Airport has received a $1.95 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the expansion of its existing apron.

The apron, commonly referred to as an airport’s tarmac, is the surface adjacent to a taxiway whereupon aircraft can transit across or park and tie down.

“We are extremely excited and proud to be selected for funding through this competitive federal grant process,” said Port of Skagit Community Outreach Administrator Linda Tyler. “It’s not only a testament to the growth our airport is experiencing, but also the high level in which we are operating.”

The airport will be adding about 3.4 acres, or 150,000 square feet, of apron surface. It currently has about 13 acres of apron.

“The increase will allow for up to eight mid-sized business type aircraft (such as a Citation CJ3) or four of the large type of business jets (like a Gulfstream 650),” Tyler said. “The Gulfstream 650s have a wingspan of 100 feet and length of the same.”

The grant was part of $1.2 billion destined to 405 airports in all 50 states and six U.S. territories.

“This $1.2 billion federal investment will improve our nation’s airport infrastructure, enhance safety, and strengthen growth in local communities, which is especially important as the economy recovers from COVID-19,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a press release.

Skagit Regional Airport has recently been experiencing more of a demand for aircraft space, including space for larger planes.

“We have already begun to see increased use of the airport by larger business jets, so this will help us keep up with that existing and growing demand,” Tyler said. “The expanded apron will also provide more economic opportunities for our local businesses who provide services to travelers and their aircraft.”

Construction is currently underway with paving scheduled to begin by late October and completion by spring of 2021.

“It feels great to have this support from the FAA so the Port can focus on bringing more economic opportunities and jobs to our community through this transportation hub,” Tyler said.

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