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WSDOT Runway Safety Grant Guidelines

Program Overview

Runway incursions pose a significant but unnecessary risk for pilots and their passengers. Reducing the risks of runway incursions and runway collisions is a top priority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation. WSDOT Aviation is partnering with the FAA to promote runway safety throughout Washington’s system of airports.

Runway safety management is a dynamic process that involves understanding the factors that contribute to runway collisions and taking actions to reduce these risks.  Runway incursion severity ratings (Categories A through D) indicate the potential for a collision or the margin of safety associated with an event. The FAA aims to reduce the severity, number, and rate of runway incursions through the mitigation of the errors that contribute to collision risks.

What are the goals of the WSDOT Runway Safety Grant Program?

The goal of the program is to assist the FAA in its objective to reduce the severity, number, and rate of runway incursions by increasing awareness through the promotion of educational and training opportunities to pilots and airport operators. Additionally WSDOT Aviation hopes to heighten the level of safety by investing in airport infrastructure.

For more information on the FAA’s Runway Safety Program, go to:

Eligibility Requirements

What types of organizations are eligible to submit an application to WSDOT?

Under RCW 47.68.090, any city, county, airport authority, political subdivision, federally recognized tribe, or public corporation that owns, or operates, a public-use airport within the State of Washington is considered an eligible airport sponsor and may apply for WSDOT Runway Safety Grant Program funds. The municipality or tribe may act jointly with other municipalities or tribes to plan or carry out the project.

To be eligible for WSDOT Runway Safety Grant Program funds, an airport sponsor must promote runway safety education by coordinating an education and training event for local pilots with the FAA Northwest Mountain Region, Runway Safety Program Team. Sponsors may wish to partner with other airports in their region to maximize attendance and participation. If training is coordinated under a multi-airport sponsored training event, each participating airport is eligible to receive the WSDOT Runway Safety Program Grant.

The FAA Northwest Mountain Region, Runway Safety Team is available to visit each candidate airport to conduct a Runway Safety Assessment. The results of this assessment may be used to identify eligible projects that will lead to increased runway safety. Upon request, the FAA Runway Safety Team will also develop a plan for the airport sponsor to improve the standardization of signs and markings at airports throughout the region.

Is there a maximum grant award for the WSDOT Runway Safety Program Grant?

Yes. The maximum amount WSDOT Aviation can grant to any one individual sponsor in any one single runway safety grant is $2,500.

What types of projects may be eligible?

The intent of the WSDOT Runway Safety Grant Program is to enhance state aviation safety by providing local agencies with funds to invest in their airport infrastructure.  Eligible projects must have a direct correlation to increased runway safety. Typical projects could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Runway Hold Position Markings
  • Runway Hold Position Signs
  • Airport Layout / Taxi Diagrams
  • Aviation Radios
  • UNICOM / CTAF Frequency Signs
  • Flashing Amber Beacons

Is there a match requirement?

Yes. The local sponsor must contribute a minimum 5% match of the entire project cost.

Can the local match funds be in-kind volunteer labor and materials?

Yes. However, the airport sponsor will be required under state law to maintain certain records documenting the volunteer hours provided, labor value based on prevailing wage rates, cost or value of donated materials, etc.

What are “in-kind” contributions?

For the purposes of operating projects, in-kind contributions are the value of non-cash charges for real property and equipment, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the project. In-kind contributions must be included as project costs and the value of the services must be documented.

Applying for Funding

What’s the first step?

Sponsors interested in participating in the runway safety grant program are asked to contact the FAA Northwest Mountain Region, Runway Safety Team to conduct a Runway Safety Assessment.

When is the deadline for grant applications for the Runway Safety Program Grant?

Currently, WSDOT Aviation will be accepting Runway Safety Program Grant applications through June 30, 2009.

When will grant award decisions be announced?

WSDOT Aviation expects to announce grant award recipients on a case by case basis.

When must the runway safety project be completed?

Projects must be completed no later than June 30, 2009, which is the end of the current WSDOT 2007-2009 biennium.

Where can I obtain an application?

You may call Eric Johnson, WSDOT Aviation Construction Project Manager, at (360) 651-6303 to request a paper copy of the application form and guidelines.

Download the application (pdf 217 kb).

How do you submit your application?

Applications must be submitted on paper with original signatures and must be accompanied by three (3) copies of the application and its attachments. WSDOT will not accept electronic submissions or facsimiles.

When can the project begin?

Successful projects may begin as soon as:

  1. Final signatures are made on a grant agreement and a notice to proceed has been issued for that specific project.
  2. You have coordinated an education and training event for local pilots with the FAA Northwest Mountain Region, Runway Safety Program Team.

Note: Never make a financial commitment on a project without first  obtaining written approval from WSDOT to commence.

Getting Ready to Prepare your Application

Can you submit more than one application?

No, due to limited funds remaining in the 2007-2009 biennium, WSDOT is offering one runway safety grant per airport.

What documentation should you attach to your application?

  1. All applications submitted to WSDOT Aviation for WSDOT Runway Safety Program Grants should be accompanied by a statement of support from the appropriate elected official or officials: mayor, county commission chairman, or airport authority chairman.
  2. Applications must be accompanied by a signed assurance that local matching funds are available and have been authorized by the appropriate governing body of the airport.
  3. Applications must be accompanied by adequate supporting documentation and estimated costs of the proposed projects.

Who can you contact for help?

For any questions or requests for assistance in completing project applications, please contact:

Eric Johnson
WSDOT Aviation
Construction Manager
(360) 651-6303

Note: All existing grant procedure requirements shall apply to runway safety grants. Refer to the Local Airport Aid Grant Program Manual (pdf 137 kb).