According to an announcement from Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Tuscaloosa) office on Thursday, $25.5 million in Federal Aviation Administration grants have been awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation for various airport improvements.
Per the release, they will “support infrastructure construction, safety advances, and equipment acquisition.”
“These FAA grants support critical projects that aim to improve safety, security, and efficiency of airports across the state,” Shelby said in a statement. “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.”
Among those grants awarded to Alabama was $7 million “for taxiway reconstruction, runway rehabilitation, and installation of a new taxiway lighting system” to Mobile Downtown Airport.
The award is significant as some in leadership positions in Alabama’s port city are considering moving commercial air traffic from West Mobile’s Bates Field to the Downtown Mobile Brookley Field facility.
The grant also includes significant funding for other airports in Alabama, including in Greenville, Fairhope, Tuscaloosa, Lanett and Birmingham.
Grants as follows:
· Mobile Downtown Airport, Mobile Airport Authority – $7,080,027 for taxiway reconstruction, runway rehabilitation, and installation of a new taxiway lighting system
· MacCrenshaw Memorial Airport, City of Greenville – $3,114,820 for runway reconstruction
· H.L. Callahan Airport, City of Fairhope – $3,033,757 for construction of an additional taxiway and access taxiways
· Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, City of Tuscaloosa – $2,652,600 for apron rehabilitation and a master plan study
· Lanett Municipal Airport, City of Lanett – $1,717,830 for construction of a runway and installation of a new runway lighting system
· Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham Airport Authority – $1,417,500 for erosion repair, safety equipment acquisition, sign installation, and taxiway rehabilitation
· Headland Municipal Airport, City of Headland – $990,000 for construction of an additional taxiway
· Auburn University Regional Airport, Auburn University – $832,500 for taxiway rehabilitation
· Enterprise Municipal Airport, City of Enterprise – $653,140 for taxiway rehabilitation
· Pryor Field Regional Airport, Counties of Morgan and Limestone – $495,900 for taxiway lighting reconstruction
· Cullman Regional-Folsom Field Airport, City and County of Cullman – $450,000 for taxiway reconstruction
· Carl Folsom Airport, Elba Airport Authority – $446,998 for construction a 7,200-square-foot hangar building
· Anniston Regional Airport, City of Anniston – $446,400 for apron and taxiway rehabilitation
· Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport, County of Marion – $261,000 for construction of an additional taxiway to provide access to aircraft hangars
· Albertville Regional-Thomas J Brumlik Field Airport, City of Albertville – $253,168 for taxiway reconstruction
· Shelby County Airport, County of Shelby – $249,970 for construction of a 14,830-square-foot hangar building
· Bibb County Airport, County of Bibb – $242,640 for land acquisition to extend protection zone
· Moton Field Municipal Airport, City of Tuskegee – $195,480 for runway and taxiway rehabilitation
· Talladega Municipal Airport, City of Talladega – $190,410 for taxiway rehabilitation
· Bessemer Airport, City of Bessemer – $150,000 for runway rehabilitation
· Prattville-Grouby Field Airport, Prattville Airport Authority – $150,000 for installation of airport drainage improvements
· Wetumpka Municipal Airport, City of Wetumpka, – $150,000 for installation of a new navigational aid and a new runway vertical/visual guidance system
· Walker County-Bevill Field Airport, Walker County – $135,000 for updates to the airport master plan narrative report and airport layout plan
· Ozark-Blackwell Field Airport, City of Ozark – $114,300 for runway rehabilitation and installation of new navigational aids
· Thomas C. Russell Field Airport, City of Alexander City – $94,500 for installation of a new navigational aid and a new runway vertical/visual guidance system
The announcement from Shelby comes as he has assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. According to Shelby, that committee “unanimously approved the FY2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill last month.”