U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta today announced that Gulfport Biloxi Regional Airport Authority, one of the airports damaged by Hurricane Katrina, will receive $44 million to repair the Airports terminal building, taxiways, cargo facility, general aviation facility, and rental car facility.
This grant won't just help repair, rebuild, and revitalize this airport, said Secretary Mineta. It will help bring new passengers, new business, and new energy to this storied region.
Secretary Mineta made the announcement during a visit to the airport today to see some of the repairs that are currently under way. The Secretary noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not requiring the airport to provide any matching funds to qualify for the grant, allowing for faster repairs as it continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Senator Trent Lott and Congressman Gene Taylor joined the Secretary for the announcement.
I am pleased that Secretary Mineta and FAA Administrator Blakey have come to Mississippi to see this facility and the progress were making toward its enhancement, said Senator Lott . The growth of this airport was already quite remarkable prior to Katrina, now it becomes even more important and poised for growth as a key component of the Coasts rebuilding and recovery.
I am pleased that the Department of Transportation, under the able leadership of Secretary Norm Mineta, has provided a $44 million grant to the Gulfport-Biloxi airport for restoration of facilities destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, said Senator Thad Cochran, who was unable to attend the announcement. The economic recovery of the Gulf Coast depends on a healthy transportation infrastructure, and this funding will allow the airport to reconstruct the damaged terminal and air cargo facilities.
When Secretary Mineta visited the airport last fall, he committed to helping restore the airport to pre-Katrina levels. This grant is the third hurricane relief project commitment to the Gulfport Biloxi Regional Airport. The two previous grants for $2.6 million and $4.65 million funded projects such as rehabilitating the apron, replacing airport signage, removing debris, and preparing engineering designs of hurricane repair projects. To date, the Department has provided a total of $51.2 million dollars in hurricane relief funds.
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