WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., reported Friday that 19 Mississippi airport facilities will benefit from $20.3 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Airport Improvement Program grants include significant awards for the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport and the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, with $13.8 million approved for runway work in Jackson and nearly $4.6 million for noise abatement and other work in Gulfport.
These are vital funds that will go toward not just repairs, but improving safety, said Senator Thad Cochran.
“These grants are important investments in the safety, security and efficiency of local airports in Mississippi,” Cochran said. “This funding will support projects that should help the development of Mississippi businesses and communities.”
Senator Roger Wicker said this grant will also boost Mississippi business.
“Airport infrastructure directly impacts Mississippians’ quality of life, passenger safety, and the economic competitiveness of our communities,” Wicker said. “These grants – benefiting airports across the state – will support critical projects that promise to bring about long-term rewards for residents and local businesses.”
Last spring, a new FAA reform bill was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, of which Wicker serves as a senior member. The House-Senate conference agreement, passed by the full Senate on July 13, includes provisions to expand the Airport Improvement Program. The legislation was signed into law by President Obama on July 15.
Cochran chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, which in May approved the FY2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. This measure continues a level obligation limit of $3.35 billion from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to continue support for the Airport Improvement Program. Mississippi airports benefit from this program, which helps these facilities meet FAA operations and safety standards.
The 19 FAA grants, totaling $20,382,115, for Mississippi will support the following airport projects:
- Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and City of Jackson – $13,832,641 for runway and taxiway rehabilitation and wildlife hazard assessments
- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Gulfport Biloxi Regional Airport Authority – $3,420,000 for noise mitigation measures for nearby residences
- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Gulfport Biloxi Regional Airport Authority – $1,178,238 for airport drainage improvements, terminal building rehabilitation, security enhancements, and widening of taxiway
- Philadelphia Municipal Airport, City of Philadelphia – $269,264 for terminal building construction
- Houston Municipal Airport, City of Houston – $240,269 for construction of a building and taxiway
- McCharen Field Airport, City of West Point – $234,900 for runway, apron, and taxiway rehabilitation, obstruction removal, and existing airport master plan study update
- G.V. Montgomery Airport, City of Forest – $180,819 for runway and taxiway rehabilitation
- Ackerman Choctaw County Airport, City of Ackerman and County of Choctaw – $150,000 for building, taxiway, and access road construction
- Hattiesburg Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport, City of Hattiesburg – $130,455 for taxiway extension and obstruction removal
- Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport, City of Brookhaven – $118,755 for runway rehabilitation and airport master plan study update
- Louisville Winston County Airport, City of Louisville – $114,925 for apron rehabilitation
- Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport, Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority – $100,817 for the taxiway, parking lot, and access road rehabilitation
- Winona-Montgomery County Airport, City of Winona and County of Montgomery – $78,010 for apron, runway, and taxiway rehabilitation
- University-Oxford Airport, University of Mississippi – $76,816 for airport master plan study update
- George M. Bryan Airport, City of Starkville – $73,675 for installation of perimeter fencing
- Kosciusko-Attala County Airport, City of Kosciusko – $73,675 for acquisition of land and easements to enhance protection for runway approaches
- Key Field Airport, Meridian Airport Authority – $50,000 for runway safety area improvements
- Columbia-Marion County Airport, County of Columbia and Marion – $45,000 for conduction of environmental study
- Grenada Municipal Airport, City of Grenada – $13,856 for apron rehabilitation