FAA Grants Provide Boost for Mobile Downtown Airport

July 3, 2019

A $1.35 million federal grant was announced Tuesday providing for the lion’s share of the funding for a master plan of moving Mobile’s commercial air service permanently to the city’s downtown airport.

The announcement was included in a news release from U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s office. Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, is chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

In addition, the money from the Federal Aviation Administration also includes an additional $822,207 on the design phase of rehabilitating 9,625 feet of runway at the Downtown Mobile Airport, and to purchase an airfield sweeper truck to control debris.

The grants are funded through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and federal appropriations.

“Mobile airports are critical for our region’s transportation needs, connectivity and overall economy,” said Chris Curry, president of the Mobile Airport Authority. “We will use this funding to maintain our infrastructure, support growth and provide a safe and secure environment for traveling passengers and businesses.”

The $1.5 million master plan is paid for primarily by the FAA, and has been underway for a few months already by aviation consultants LeighFisher. The work is to examine a complete shift of the commercial service from Mobile Regional Airport in west Mobile to the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, which is located about three miles southeast of downtown Mobile.

The plan will map out the next 20 yeas of development for Downtown Mobile Airport (BFM). The project is expected to be completed around February 2021.

A temporary 20,000-square-foot terminal was opened on May 1, inside a 50,000-square-foot Airbus logistics center. The approximately $8 million project is called “Terminal One,” and provides airline passengers access to Frontier Airlines flights to Denver and Chicago.

Mobile launches a ‘game changer’ with inaugural departure from Downtown airport

The inaugural flight from the Downtown Brookley Airport will take place on Wednesday. For airport and city officials, it marks the first step in a journey toward shifting all commercial aviation activities to the downtown facility.

The inaugural Frontier flight to Chicago represented the first commercial excursions from Brookley in decades.

“All the feedback we get is that the passenger experience at the downtown airport is fantastic, and people are enjoying it and the flights are traveling with great capacity,” said George Talbot, spokesman for Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.


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