Local airport receives funding

Published 11:46 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Wednesday that the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $3,199,020 to local airports for necessary improvements.

Of the $3,199,020 awarded to the region, Greenville’s Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport will receive $640,725.

The City of Greenville is required to match 2.5 percent of the grant, or $16,018.12.

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“We’ve been very fortunate over the last 10 years to receive a number of grants,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “With this grant comes a tremendous opportunity for us to improve our airport, and we are fortunate from a money-match standpoint that the percentage we are required to match is so low.”

The grant money will be used to extend the taxiway and improve airport drainage, which McLendon believes will help boost economic development in the area.

“Airports are so important when people start looking at your city as a potential place to bring their business or industry,” McLendon said. “The improvements that we will be able to make because of this grant will make our airport that much more attractive to people who might potentially locate their business or industry in this area. This is a really good thing for our community.”

According to McLendon, work should begin at the airport in the fall.

Like McLendon, Shelby emphasized the importance of transportation infrastructure in attracting businesses and industries to the area.

“A strong transportation infrastructure is critical to attracting new businesses and industries,” said Shelby.  “These important grants will help the airports in the region make necessary improvements for their safe and trustworthy operation.  Such improvements are essential to ensuring that these airports remain efficient transportation hubs for those traveling to, from, and through Alabama.”

Other airports in the region that received funding were Mobile Regional Airport and Dauphin Island Airport.

Mobile Regional Airport will use its $1,834,499 grant to acquire an aircraft rescue and fire-fighting vehicle, improve drainage and rehabilitate various buildings.
Dauphin Island Airport will use its $723,796 grant to acquire runway protection zone land.