Two area airports receive FAA grants
April 16, 2014
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  • Cleveland Municipal Airport and Ruleville–Drew Airport were recently awarded funds for construction and rehabilitation projects.

    On Friday, Congressman Bennie Thompson announced that both airports received these funds through the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Cleveland Municipal Airport received $300,000 to extend the taxiway and Ruleville–Drew Airport received $144,797 to rehabilitate its apron.

    Cleveland Airport Director Clint Johnson said he is grateful to have received the funds.

    “We have two taxiways at the airport, Taxiway Alpha and Taxiway Bravo. We are going to extend Taxiway Bravo – it runs east to west from the end of the runway, back towards the fire station,” said Johnson.

    The extension of the taxiway will provide access to aircraft hangars.

    This project will fund design and construction of 450 feet of the taxiway extension.

    “It is very important for us to extend the taxiway because right now we do not have much room for hangers. All of our hangers are filled up and we are at maximum capacity. We do not have any more area to expand at this point,” he added.

    Johnson said the hangers will be built over the next several years and will vary on size and demand.

    “We plan to begin the project this summer,” he continued.

    Johnson said the funds would also assist the airport in possibly building other components of the airport.

    “If we need more T-hangers then we could build more T-hangers. It is hard to give a number of the amount of hangers that we plan to build,” he added.

    Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell said after he found out about the funds, he was ecstatic.

    “I am delighted to see that we have received this money. This is going to help the airport tremendously. It will help with the construction of larger hangers,” said Nowell.

    “Some of our businesses have bigger planes now and this will further assist them as well. We are very excited about it and we thank Congressman Thompson for all of his help,” he added.

    According to Project Engineer for Gardner Engineering Lake Baird, the grant will assist in some much-needed repair at the Ruleville-Drew Airport.

    Baird said the funds awarded to the Ruleville–Drew Airport will be put to good use.

    “Rehabilitation of the apron is needed to maintain structural integrity of the pavement. The rehabilitation consists of design and construction of 5,000 square yards of an asphalt overlay,” said Baird.

    “This is just a continuation from last year. On last year, we were able to repave the runway and this year we are going to do the joining taxiway. The apron is the parking area for the airplanes,” he added.

    Baird said the improvements will make the airport more appealing to people who desire to fly in.

    “It is a public use airport. If someone was is trouble or they just simply needed to land they could essential land at our airport and pretty much fly anywhere that they wanted to,” continued Baird.

    He also said, “Right now we have essential eight hangers that we have built with the same type of funds. We allow people to store their airplanes in our hangers. We have a large amount of people who fly in during the winter months to go hunting.”

    Baird said the Cleveland Municipal Airport occasionally utilizes Ruleville – Drew’s facilities for aviation practice.

    “The students fly here and fly back to Cleveland. We are so happy to have received the grant and we would like to thank Mr. Thompson and the Federal Aviation Administration,” he added.

    The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States.

    It is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation.

    When airport owners or sponsors, planning agencies, or other organizations accept funds from FAA-administered airport financial assistance programs, they must agree to certain obligations.

    These obligations require the recipients to maintain and operate their facilities safely and efficiently and in accordance with specified conditions.

    The assurances may be attached to the application or the grant for Federal assistance and become part of the final grant offer or in restrictive covenants to property deeds.

    The duration of these obligations depends on the type of recipient, the useful life of the facility being developed, and other conditions stipulated in the assurances.