By: Bend Business Advocate Ben Hemson
The Bend Municipal Airport moved one step closer to finding matching funds for an almost $8 million expansion devoted to helicopter operations. The project enhances safety by separating helicopter and fixed wing flying while allowing more room for COCC’s popular helicopter pilot training program and other helicopter operations. Fun fact: These helicopter flights help make Bend the third busiest airport in the state, behind PDX and Hillsboro.
Airport Manager Gary Judd has already secured $6.6 million in FAA funding for the dedicated Helicopter Operations Area and is seeking another $1.1 million in state matching funds. The project recently made the approved list for our region’s portion of State Connect Oregon funding and may be eligible for additional statewide resources as well.
With the Redmond Airport closure, it has already been a busy month at Bend Municipal as operations have increased. Also, the airport was the landing spot for former President Clinton’s visit to Central Oregon.