By: Port of Pasco staff
The Washington State Public Ports Association (WPPA) honored the Port of Pasco as 2017 Port of the Year at their annual conference in November. In making the award, WPPA noted the completion of the $43 Million Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) renovation and expansion project.
WPPA Executive Director Eric Johnson highlighted the new airport terminal project “as an achievement that showcases what port’s do best - taking a long view of improving key assets into new centers of public engagement and private investment for the betterment of the entire community.”
In receiving the award, Commission President Jean Ryckman stated “The Port of Pasco is honored to receive this award and to be recognized for the contributions to our community. She added “While people saw the two and a half year construction project, they didn’t see the five years of planning and budget discussions before the first wall was ever knocked down. WPPA is recognizing the entire effort of the Port of Pasco Commission and staff in making this project happen for their community.”
Senator Maria Cantwell presided over the grand opening of the new airport terminal in January of this year. Constructed over 3 years, the project doubled the size of the terminal to 110,000 SF and added a brand new boarding concourse, new gates, a new restaurant and bar, coffee and gift shop, children’s play area, and greatly expanded security screening and passenger seating areas. The project also remodeled the existing ticket gates, baggage claim, and rental car areas – all while remaining open and fully functional for the travelling public. The project fulfilled an 8-year planning effort to accommodate a rapidly growing passenger base at the Tri-Cities
Airport, currently the 4th largest commercial airport in Washington State, with 4 airlines averaging 45 flights a day to
9 non-stop destinations and serving over 750,000 passengers per year.
A citizens committee assembled to advise the Port Commission on the project strongly urged an expansion that would not only meet current needs, but also handle 15 years future growth. The Port took on the challenge and decided to issue a $25M revenue bond backed by 20 years of passenger ticket fees to come up with the funds needed for the larger terminal recommended by the citizens committee. The result is an airport terminal that will serve the Tri-Cities region for many years to come.
While the award committee noted the Tri-Cities Airport, the award also recognized other Port projects including the success of the Pasco Processing Center at attracting world-class food processors to Pasco and the significance of the Osprey Pointe Business Park to enhance economic opportunities in East Pasco. “The Port is committed to promoting growth and economic prosperity in our region and we are greatly honored to be recognized as the Port of the Year,” stated Randy Hayden, the Port of Pasco Executive Director. “Projects like this are years in the making and I particularly want to recognize past Commissioners and staff who laid the groundwork for the successes we are seeing today.”
About Washington Public Ports Association
The Washington Public Ports Association promotes the interests of the 76 public ports in the state through government relations, education and strong advocacy programs.