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Shelby announces $2.6 million in funding for local airport improvements

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Friday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, announced that five local airports across the state of Alabama will receive $2.63 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants.

The federal funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation for various airport improvements to support infrastructure construction, safety advances, and equipment acquisition.

“This FAA funding will bring much needed improvements to these five local airports across the state,” said Senator Shelby. “It is important that we continue to invest in infrastructure projects throughout Alabama to promote economic development in our local communities. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that these aviation advancements will have on our state, and I am grateful that Alabama is receiving awards that will continue to push for the modernization of our infrastructure.”

The largest of the grants was awarded to the Mobile Downtown Airport, Mobile, Alabama, which received $1,080,000 for apron rehabilitation. An airport apron is the area where an airplane parks to be loaded, unloaded, refueled, or boarded.

“I am thrilled to announce this grant of over $1 million to the Mobile Downtown Airport,” Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said. “As Southwest Alabama continues to grow, the downtown airport will become increasingly important to our economic development efforts. I appreciate what Mayor Stimpson and the Mobile Airport Authority set out to do when deciding to revitalize the Mobile Downtown Airport, and I applaud all of their hard work on this important project. I also thank Secretary Chao and the Trump administration for their continued support of Southwest Alabama, and I will continue working to support the interests of Alabamians in Washington.”

The Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which was passed and signed into law last year, provided FAA an additional $1 billion in discretionary grants for FY2018 – FY2020.

The grants range from $1.1 million for the Mobile Downtown Airport to $318,236 for the Weedon Field Airport. This is the fifth round of funding of the initial appropriation.

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The five FAA grants total $2,634,630.

In addition to the Mobile Downtown Airport: the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in Tuscaloosa received $450,000 for runway rehabilitation; the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) received $442,337 for the conduction of a state system plan study; the Bay Minette Municipal Airport received $344,057 for the installation of weather reporting equipment; and the Weedon Field Airport in Eufaula received $318,236 for apron rehabilitation, construction of a taxiway, and widening of a taxiway.

The Weedon Field Airport in Eufaula was hit and badly damaged by a tornado earlier this year.

Senator Richard Shelby is the Chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations, which authored and advanced the FY2018 legislation that included these FAA grant resources.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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