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   The third phase of work on improvements to the aviation ramp at Walla Walla Regional Airport is underway this fall with the balance of the $3.9 million project scheduled for completion in the Spring, 2013.
   The project includes rehabilitation of some 55,000 square yards of 1940's concrete, placement of five inches of new asphalt and upgrades to electrical and control cable installations. Two "grass islands" are also being installed along Taxiway A to help with storm water collection and identified safety improvements.
   The project is being funded by a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $3.72 million, an airport contribution of $319,800 and a Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division grant of $93,000.

Port receives $250,000 grant to promote air travel

   A two year program, funded by a U.S. Department of Transportation grant and local matching dollars, will be conducted in 2013 and 2014 to promote air travel to and from Walla Walla Regional Airport.
   The $300,000 budgeted for the program includes the $250,000 DOT grant and as much as $50,000 in cash and in-kind contributions from a public-private partnership that includes the Port of Walla Walla/Walla Walla Regional Airport, Walla Walla Wine Alliance, the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Walla Walla.
   Port Commission President Paul Schneidmiller says that specific details of the promotional program are still being defined, but overall strategies include the following:
  • Create incentives targeted at Walla Walla area businesses including frequent flyer miles, discounted tickets and lounge passes.
  • Increase the exposure of the Alaska Airlines brand in Walla Walla through community involvement and event marketing.
  • Aggressively promote Walla Walla as the airport of choice within the Valley.
  • Work with Alaska Airlines to create inbound travel promotions.
  • Create regional inbound flight offerings to encourage travel to Washington Wine Country.
  • Promote Alaska Airlines as the travel "option of choice" from Seattle (and other markets) to the Walla Walla Valley.
   The Port's federal grant application was supported by Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray and U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Doc Hastings.

"Air service in and out of Walla Walla must be consistent, affordable and convenient to be successful. This grant should help the efforts to ensure air service

Walla Walla Union Bulletin
Editorial - August 17, 2012

Walla Walla pilot info meetings increased to four per year

   Instead of once a year, Walla Walla Regional Airport pilot meetings are being held four times per year.
   Airport Manager Jennifer Skoglund says the Port Commission wanted a more regular forum to hear from pilots at the airport. The added number of meetings has been particularly helpful
this year to keep pilots updated on the aviation ramp rehabilitation.
   "I’ve attended all the pilot forums this year and found the feedback very helpful," said Port Commissioner Mike Fredrickson. "For example, pilot comments on the preliminary design of the aviation ramp rehabilitation project
resulted in several changes that will make for a better project in the end."
   The meetings also represent an opportunity for SERCO, the operator of the Walla Walla Regional Airport control tower to brief pilots on the latest air traffic control issues at the airport.
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