Two airports in Arizona, nearly a dozen in Colorado, and seven in New Mexico are receiving vital airport infrastructure grants from the Department of Transportation.
Altogether, the DOT is awarding just over $520 million in such grants to airports in some 41 states.
In announcing the grants, Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation, said the funding is simply designed to “help keep our nation’s airports in good shape and make air travel a better experience for passengers.”
As part of the same announcement, Steve Dickson, Administration of the Federal Aviation Administration, remarked that support of the nation’s airports was important because “It’s in our national interest to make them the crown jewel in our transportation system.”
The funding is specifically coming through the DOT’s Airport Improvement Program, which was established in 1982 and is specifically designed to support airports in their planning and development projects.
The largest Arizona grant is seeing $4.3 million for the Grand Canyon National Park Airport to rehabilitate a terminal building and improve the airport’s drainage system.
The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, meanwhile, is slated to receive around $3.7 million for the construction of a new control tower, replacing an existing structure that was built in 1970.
The largest funded project in Colorado is going to the Denver International Airport: $6. 1 million for the rehabilitation of a taxiway and new taxiway lighting.
The second largest Colorado project is seeing $1 million for a runway lighting upgrade project and a taxiway rehabilitation work at the Centennial Airport in Englewood.
Among the smaller funded Colorado projects, the Montrose Regional Airport is slated to receive nearly $710,000 to expand its existing terminal building, the first since expansion of that facility in nearly a decade.
The largest New Mexico project, the reconstruction of an apron at the Carrizozo Municipal Airport, is receiving $405,000.
Other New Mexico projects include apron reconstruction and pavement upgrades at the Cavern City Air Terminal in Carlsbad, the Deming Municipal Airport, the Ohkay Owingeh Airport near Espansola, the Gallup Municipal Airport, the Hatch Municipal Airport, and the Portales Municipal Airport.
In a press release announcing the funding of the New Mexico airport projects, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan noted that “local communities, especially in our rural regions, depend on our regional airports to boost the economic and support travel.”
By Garry Boulard
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