Wyden Announces Advance of Key Rural Oregon Legislation

Wyden Announces Advance of Key Rural Oregon Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC  –  U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden announced today that legislation to support rural air service and job growth in Eastern Oregon is heading to the full Senate for its consideration.

He made the announcement after the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved full funding of $155 million for the Essential Air Program.

The program supports key travel connections like commercial flights in and out of Pendleton’s Eastern Oregon Regional Airport. The airport is the only commercial air service in Eastern Oregon, a linchpin for attracting and retaining business as well as a lifeline for rural seniors needing to travel for specialty health care.

Also approved by the Appropriations Committee and heading to the full Senate is $162 million in funding for the Contract Tower Program. That program also bolsters commercial air service while providing crucial support for Eastern Oregon’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) Pan-Pacific test range.

Wyden had joined with Sen. Jeff Merkley to urge full funding for the Essential Air Program and Contract Tower program as complementary components to Eastern Oregon’s well-being and economic development.

“These twin pillars supporting air service and the continued growth of the job-creating UAS industry provide key opportunities for Eastern Oregon to build on its strengths,”Wyden said. “Senator Merkley and I are determined to get this vital legislation across the finish line.”

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