The Daily Courier
U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, flew into the Prescott Regional Airport Saturday morning, Feb. 22, for a briefing on the airport’s passenger-terminal construction project.
“I was really excited to celebrate the $10 million grant that the airport has received,” Sinema said. “That was a competitive grant process. The reason that Prescott earned that grant was because of the merits of their application so I’m incredibly proud of the city and incredibly proud of the airport and their staff for the work they did.”
The Prescott City Council accepted the grant from the Federal Aviation Administration at a special meeting in November. Out of 167 total applications, Prescott was one of four airports in the country to receive grant money in the latest round.
Sinema said the grant program was created via legislation that she championed when in the U.S. House of Representatives and couldn’t be more proud that it went to the City of Prescott.
Construction on the $15 million passenger terminal began Tuesday, Jan. 7, and is scheduled to finish in February 2021. Sinema said she can’t wait to come back when it’s done.
“I would love to be here when they do the ribbon cutting … a year from now,” she said. “I look forward to coming back and celebrating that.”
As the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Aviation and Space subcommittee, Sinema said one of the benefits of having that role is she gets to spend a lot of time and energy advocating for increased aviation services in Arizona.
Prescott is a growing community and with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University near the airport, there needs to be a way for Arizonans who live in the northern part of the state to get to other parts of the country, she said.
Sinema said one hope she has is that the team that is working with the construction company, airport and city can, over the next couple of years, show increased traffic through commercial airlines and grow not just the airport but the traffic of Northern Arizonans who choose Prescott as their starting or final destinations.
It also allows Embry-Riddle to attract and retain highly qualified people to study here as well as brings more jobs and economic growth, she said.
“With the growth of this airport, the growth of the terminal, the growth of airlines coming in and out, it provides an opportunity for Prescott and the Valley to recruit more companies to come and locate here,” Sinema said.
It is exciting for Prescott and she is proud of how the community is so supportive of it regardless of where they work or what they do for a living, she said.
Sinema’s support is good to have in Washington D.C., Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli said, adding that she is fighting for rural areas of Arizona and her efforts are appreciated.
“Senator Sinema was very helpful in getting the FAA grant,” he said. “We’re really grateful that she could come in and see the construction site and get a briefing on where we’re at in the construction of the terminal.”