WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - More than a dozen airports in Mississippi could benefit from federal funding, including three in South Mississippi.
According to a release from Senator Roger Wicker's office, 19 airports will benefit from more than $4.49 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The 19 FAA grants for Mississippi will support the following airport projects:
- Stennis International Airport, Hancock County – $673,675 for apron expansion to accommodate increased use of the general aviation facilities
- Greenwood-Leflore Airport, City of Greenwood and Leflore County – $673,675 for taxiway construction
- Tunica Municipal Airport, Tunica County and Tunica County Airport Commission – $491,166 for runway rehabilitation and the installation of a new runway visual guidance system
- Bruce Campbell Field Airport, City of Madison – $424,691 for construction of a terminal building
- Holly Springs-Marshall County Airport, Holly Springs-Marshall County Airport Board – $267,819 for runway rehabilitation
- Magee Municipal Airport, City of Magee – $225,000 for improvements to airport drainage, the installation of perimeter fencing, and the removal of tree obstructions
- John Bell Williams Airport, Hinds County – $218,239 for airport apron expansion, as well as a study on the airport drainage system
- Picayune Municipal Airport, City of Picayune – $192,686 for construction of taxiway to provide access to aircraft hangars
- Hawkins Field Airport, City of Jackson and Jackson Municipal Airport Authority – $175,525 for airport apron rehabilitation
- Monroe County Airport, County of Monroe – $175,043 for apron, runway, and taxiway rehabilitation, as well as airport master plan updates
- Indianola Municipal Airport, City of Indianola – $149,337 for the construction of a hangar building
- Yazoo County Airport, Yazoo County – $148,675 for taxiway rehabilitation and the installation of airfield guidance signs
- Greenville Mid-Delta Airport, City of Greenville – $148,675 for improvements to airport drainage and the installation of airport beacons and perimeter fencing
- Booneville/Baldwin Airport, County of Prentiss – $143,280 for taxiway construction
- Okolona Municipal-Richard Stovall Field Airport, City of Okolona – $84,324 for construction of a terminal building
- New Albany-Union County Airport, City of New Albany and Union County – $77,197 for land acquisition and the removal of tree obstructions
- Trent Lott International Airport, Jackson County – $74,865 for taxiway rehabilitation
- Roscoe Turner Airport, City of Corinth and Alcorn County – $73,675 for installation of perimeter fencing
- Belzoni Municipal Airport, City of Belzoni – $73,675 for installation of taxiway lighting
"These grants serve as a worthwhile tool to help Mississippi communities improve the safety and efficiency of their airports," Sen. Thad Cochran said. "With these upgrades, these airports can better serve as transportation and economic development hubs for cities and towns throughout our state."
The Airport Improvement Program is funded through legislation penned by the Appropriations Committee. Sen. Cochran is the chair of that committee, which is in the process of writing Appropriations Bills for Fiscal Year 2017. One of those proposals will provide additional funding for the program through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. User fees, fuel taxes, and other, similar revenue sources.
"The projects financed by these grants will allow for vital transportation improvements throughout the state," Wicker said. "Our state's local airports stand to benefit from these important investments in infrastructure and safety upgrades."
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved a new FAA reform bill last week. Sen. Wicker serves as a senior member on that committee. The legislation includes provisions to expand the Airport Improvement Program. The proposal now heads to the full Senate for consideration.