U.S. Representative Sam Graves (MO-06), has announced that three airports in North Missouri will receive federal money through the Airport Improvement Program. Graves received notification from U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao that rural airports in Bowling Green, Memphis and Tarkio will be receiving money to make a variety of improvements including runway rehabilitation and apron construction.
“The Airport Improvement Program is vital to the continued existence of rural airports, but hadn’t seen an increase in funding in 10 years. That’s why I pushed to include additional funding for small airports in last year’s FAA Reauthorization bill,” said Rep. Graves.
The grant funding will help the Memphis airport expand the existing taxiway apron to create additional tie-down positions for parked planes while offering added expansion room, partially to house a proposed 50×50 private hangar. The project proposes to roughly double the size of the existing apron, expanding to the south, with the proposed hangar site to be located south of that expansion.
Initial costs for the project were estimated by the engineers at $340,000 for the roughly 75 x 250 additional apron and the 50×50 hangar site.
The facility is continuing to seek federal funding for a proposed runway rebuild in 2020 that could cost up to $3 million to replace the 60-foot wide by 3,300 long air strip with a thicker six-inch surface.
The project is seeking Non-Primary Entitlement (NPE) funds to help offset the city’s 10% match on the AIP funds. Congress annually allocates $3.2 billion or more for NPE projects.
“As a pilot, safety is my number one concern and the AIP program makes it possible for these airports to properly maintain critical infrastructure. Rural airports contribute to the economic viability of our communities and ensure their continued success which is why I’m pleased to see several airports in my district receive this much-needed funding.”
As a result of Graves’ efforts, an additional $1 billion in AIP funding was included in last year’s FAA Reauthorization Bill specifically for small airports. Graves also included an amendment in H.R. 1108, the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019, which recently passed out of the Transportation Committee to increase funding that provides for $650 million per year in additional funds to the program.
“The Department has been investing heavily in our nation’s airport infrastructure, which will strengthen economic growth and create jobs in communities across the country,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides grants to public agencies — and, in some cases, to private owners and entities — for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS).
More info can be found online at https://www.faa.gov/airports/aip/