Mississippi's local airports are receiving more than $6.3 million dollars in federal grants to make infrastructure and safety improvements. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Mississippi's Golden Triangle Regional Airport is one of 15 local airports receiving Federal Aviation Administration grants. The facility, located near Starkville, will receive $1 million to expand its terminal and add safety equipment. Executive Director Mike Hainsey says some 90-thousand people travel in and out of the airport annually. He says the grant will cover two-thirds of the $1.8 million dollar project.
"The Golden Triangle has been experiencing a tremendous boom in the last 15 years over $5 billion worth of industry investment has happened, over 3,000, 4,000 jobs. Those industries are maturing and they're traveling the world," said Hainsey.
David Huggins is with the Clarksdale Coahoma County Airport Board. The airport will receive $429-thousand to complete a taxi way. Huggins says the blues industry is growing along with duck hunting. He says they receive city and county funding but maintenance is costly.
"And without the FAA grants it would absolutely impossible to get enough done at a rural airport to make any difference," said Huggins.
One-hundred-ninety-eight thousand dollars will make a difference at the Monroe County Airport between Avery and Aberdeen. Manager Wes Kirkpatrick says they're installing a new visual guidance system.
"We're doing them on both ends of the runway currently, we just have an older type unit on one of our runways which is obsolete now," said Kirkpatrick.
Calhoun County and Greenwood-Leflore Airports are among some of the others receiving FAA funding.