$8.2 Million Grant for Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced an $8.2 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant for taxiway improvements at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina.

“This funding will help improve Columbia Metropolitan Airport’s infrastructure and will keep aircraft moving safely and efficiently through South Carolina,” Secretary LaHood said. "Making important investments in our aviation system promotes safety and economic growth in communities across the country.”

The FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant will fund the widening of Taxiway U, which will allow it to better serve the larger aircraft that now use the airport. The project will enhance safety by enabling aircraft to access Runway 29 and the East Cargo Apron without having to cross Runway 05/23. The project will also include simplifying the taxiway’s markings. Construction is expected to begin in October 2012 and take six months to complete.

“This grant provides both safety and efficiency benefits for Columbia,” said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Fewer runway crossings and simpler markings will reduce the chances of runway incursions.”

AIP provides $3.35 billion in annual funding for airport improvement projects that are vital to maintaining the safety, capacity and environmental stewardship of our nation’s airports. More than 3,300 airports are eligible for AIP grants benefiting commercial passengers, cargo operations and general aviation activities throughout the nation.