Oct. 24--Anderson Municipal Airport has landed nearly $3 million in federal funds to pay for a taxiway relocation project.
On Sept. 24, Airport Manager Steve Darlington received notification of a $2,953,175 award from the Federal Aviation Administration. The following day, Darlington and John Blevins, attorney for the Anderson Board of Aviation Commissioners, signed the grant agreement
"It shows that they believe in this airport and that they're really behind this airport," Darlington said. "I think that's one of the statements it makes. How important we are to the community and to the region."
The grant includes $724,422 in capital improvement project funds and $2,228,753 in discretionary funds to improve taxiway alpha. Signing of the grant also means the Anderson airport must remain operational for 20 years or face repayment of the grant.
"When we sign the grant papers, we guarantee that we're going to be open for 20 years," Darlington said.
That could be reassuring to those who fear the demise of the Anderson airport is only a matter of time.
In May, aviation consulting firm Aerofinity Inc. undertook a study of the feasibility of closing Anderson Municipal Airport and Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport in Fishers and building a so-called replacement airport in southwest Madison County. The study was released on Aug. 10 and, since then, the Anderson Board of Aviation Commissioners has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Fishers to discuss the matter.
Tenants and businesses based at the Anderson airport have been vocal in their support.
"This work will improve an already great facility, as well as create jobs for this area," Rodney French of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said about the taxiway project.
"Obviously, the FAA considers the Anderson Airport an important, integral part of the transportation system."
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar announced Sept. 20 grants totaling nearly $5.3 million to be awarded by the FAA to Indiana airports.
"Access to air service for smaller municipal airports in Indiana is important, and I commend our officials for their work," Lugar said. "Airport improvements will help to strengthen ties between Indiana and U.S. communities."
The grants were awarded as part of the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, which provides grants to airport authorities for the planning and development of public airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.
Marion Municipal Airport received $1.8 million and Richmond Municipal Airport $1.3 million for runway rehabilitation.
Project 19, as it is known, began more than 10 years ago and led to the relocation of the main hangars and terminal building to the north side of the airport. The first phase of Project 19 was completed last year when the taxiway was moved back to create more separation from people and buildings and a new lights installed. The grant will cover four contracts of the second phase.
"It'll make the airport a lot more efficient," Darlington said. "Provide a lot more separation and a lot more taxi lines and replacing the taxiway that goes to the T-hangars."
Original projections put the cost of the project at $4.9 million, with 95 percent of the funding coming from the FAA. State and local governments will each pay 2.5 percent.
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Oct. 3--Having taken the lead on a proposal to bring a new airport to Madison County, the Anderson Board of Aviation Commissioners is now feeling the brunt of opposition to the project. During...
The grant will fund the widening of Taxiway U, which will allow it to better serve the larger aircraft that now use the airport; construction is expected to begin in October 2012 and take six months...
The grant will provide for the replacement of runway pavement and extend the runway to meet the needs of aircraft using the airport. The project will begin this fall.
Construction will close the primary taxiway for two months.