WDAM: Two Pine Belt airports receive federal improvement grant
Two Pine Belt municipal airports have been awarded millions of dollars in grant money by Mississippi members of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to make improvements to their facilities.
Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Rep. Steven Palazzo and Rep. Michael Guest announced the award of $24.3 million in Airport Improvement Program grant money Wednesday.
USDOT on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration awarded the grants.
“Improving aviation infrastructure promotes safety, improves efficiency, and facilitates better transportation for people and goods,” Wicker said. “Through the FAA’s most recent investment, Mississippi’s airports will be better equipped to serve travelers as flights pick back up while the economy recovers from the pandemic.”
Both the Hattiesburg Bobby L Chain Municipal Airport and Waynesboro Municipal Airport will receive FAA grant money to make improvements to areas of their airports.
Hattiesburg’s airport will receive $890,000 to construct, install and expand the airport lighting vault and fix runway lighting. The Waynesboro airport will get $190,595 to expand the apron.
Hyde-Smith spoke on how the grant will help increase tourism and boost infrastructure.
“Local airports are key to promoting tourism, investment, and economic vitality in communities across Mississippi,” Hyde-Smith said. “These FAA grants will support infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrades, allowing these airports to continue to provide safe and efficient operations.”
Palazzo said the grant will help improve aviation infrastructure in the state and expand operations along with other benefits.
“This funding will help strengthen our aviation infrastructure in south Mississippi and across the state. The projects at these airports will complete improvements and maintenance of facilities while expanding current operations and increasing economic activity for our area,” said Palazzo.
Guest showed his gratitude towards USDOT and FAA for being able to provide funding to the airports to make enhancements for them.
“Mississippi’s community airports are vital economic drivers for the communities they serve. I appreciate the work of DOT and FAA in prioritizing these airports to ensure the necessary upgrades and maintenance are made so they can continue to provide needed services to Mississippians,” Guest said.
The FAA grants will support the state airport improvement projects listed below: