Airport receives $1 million FAA grant

Michael Rodgers / Times Staff Writer - Aug 13, 2019

The City of Gadsden on Tuesday announced the acceptance of a $1 million grant for the Northeast Alabama Regional Airport, and the money will be used to rehabilitate the taxiway.

The grant, worth $1,044,172, comes from the Federal Aviation Administration, which will fund 90% of it. It includes a 5% match (a little more than $52,000) from both the State of Alabama and the Gadsden Airport Authority.

“This is an important investment and a critical next step in our plan to continue to improve the airport area,” Mayor Sherman Guyton said at the City Council meeting. “We appreciate the FAA’s ongoing commitment to the operations at the airport and to supporting the many activities that take place there, including the increasing military operations with the 20th Special Forces and other units.”

Guyton said the military groups that train at the airport have a large economic impact on Etowah County because some of them live here, some stay in hotels and they do things like shop and buy groceries locally.

He said there have been a number of other renovations in recent years, including some to office space at the facility.

Frankie Davis, the city’s director of governmental affairs and economic development, pointed out during the pre-council meeting that the area around the airport is seeing development with the recent location of Motus, a Tier-1 auto supplier, and work at the airport also helps facilitate other development plans.

The main runway at the airport was repaved in 2014, and this money will be used to rehabilitate the taxiway around the runway and also to improve drainage and protect the electrical vault that powers the airport.

Kenneth Gilbert of Neel-Schaffer Inc., consulting engineer for the airport, said in a press release that the taxiway is nearing the end of its life and renovations have been needed for years. He said they expect the project to be completed by the end of the year.

Click here to view the original Gadsden Times article.