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$2 million donation from Schweitzer, SEL fuels Pullman-Moscow airport expansion

PULLMAN, Wash. — Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is donating $1 million to help fund the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Runway Realignment expansion. SEL Founder Ed Schweitzer and his wife Beatriz will also donate $1 million to the project.

The two contributions provide approximately one quarter of the local matching funds required by the FAA for the expansion project.

“The Schweitzer and SEL donations put us over the top for the local match,” said Tony Bean, executive director of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. “These gifts will help us give the region a competitive advantage for maintaining the quality of life enjoyed on the Palouse as well as attracting and retaining companies, jobs, students, faculty, and families.”

The runway realignment project will enable the airport to meet the industry’s evolving safety standards, while providing the opportunity for more flights and potential destinations out of Pullman-Moscow. It will also reduce the number of weather related flight cancellations.

“The airport is an essential resource for our employees, job candidates, suppliers, and customers,” said Schweitzer. “This project will significantly benefit everyone throughout the region.”

“As members of this community, SEL and our family are delighted that we can be a part of making air travel in and out of the area safer, more convenient, and more dependable,” said Schweitzer.

Increased revenue resulting from the expansion will fund continued improvements of airport facilities and services in the future, said Bean.

According to Mead & Hunt, the engineering firm overseeing the project, the economic impacts of the realignment will be extremely significant. The 5-year construction phase will create approximately 200 jobs in Washington and Idaho and will generate more than $25.1 million through jobs, wages, and spending.

“Dr. Schweitzer has generously shared his suggestions and insights for improving the efficiency of the project,” said Pullman Mayor and airport board chair Glenn Johnson. “Over a year ago, he sent letters to the Washington and Idaho Congressional delegations that assisted local efforts to lower the local match. I was thrilled when he called me back in June to let me know that the donation was coming. It’s great that we can now let everyone know how SEL and the Schweitzers are helping us complete this critical project that will benefit the entire region.”

Physical construction of the project is slated to begin in early 2016, with the completion date in late 2019.

SEL invents, designs, and builds digital products and systems that protect power grids around the world. This technology prevents blackouts and enables customers to improve power system reliability, safety and cost. SEL, a 100 percent employee-owned company that is headquartered in Pullman, Washington, has manufactured products in the United States since 1984 and now serves customers in 147 countries. SEL provides unmatched technical support and customer service along with a 10-year worldwide warranty.