MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Local airports in Alabama will see improvements to their infrastructure through more than $25 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said this week the grant will help 25 airports with improvements, new structures and safety advances. The Mobile Downtown Airport will receive the most with $7.08 million, while the Thomas C. Russell Field Airport in Alexander City will get the least with $94,500.
"These FAA grants support critical projects that aim to improve safety, security, and efficiency of airports across the state," Shelby said. "Airport infrastructure plays a vital role in economic growth and development in Alabama, and I look forward to the progress that will stem from these grants."
The grants are funded through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and federal appropriations.
Shelby said airport infrastructure plays a vital role in economic growth and development in Alabama.
Many of the airports will improve their taxiways and erosion repair.
Headland Municipal Airport director Pete Crews told the Dothan Eagle that his airport will have a new taxiway from the grant. He says the airport will be able to accommodate larger aircraft, including jets that can hold around 12 to 15 passengers.
The runway at Headland Municipal Airport serves as a taxiway for about 80 flights daily.
"It makes things difficult and much slower at the airport because every time we utilize the runway as a taxiway it has to be closed off from any other aircraft until it's cleared. And that's quite a process," Crews said.
Crews said a team of local engineers needed to be gathered to evaluate the land and draft a plan before applying for the grant. He says the airport also had to relay their plan to construct the path.