Enterprise airport gets $1.4 million grant

The Enterprise Municipal Airport received a financial boost with the announcement of a $1,460,000 grant July 26.

The Enterprise airport is one of six Alabama airports that are recipients of Federal Aviation Administration Grants, said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby in making the announcement.

The FAA grants are funded through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and federal appropriations. Shelby is chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which authors and advances FAA and Department of Transportation funding legislation. The grants are awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to support airport infrastructure improvements.

The grant will enable construction of a taxiway and the reconstruction of the airport apron—also called a ramp or tarmac—which is the area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled or boarded.

“It is evident that the Department of Transportation is committed to investing in local airports across our state and I am grateful for the administration’s efforts to improve safety and efficiency at these airports,” Shelby said. “The FAA grants will allow for infrastructure advancements that will benefit Alabama and promote our aviation industry for years to come.”

Enterprise City Council President Perry Vickers agreed. “Once completed these upgrades will allow for larger aircraft, to include corporate jets, to be able to use our airport,” Vickers said. “This will add another incentive to attract industrial development.

“We want to express our appreciation to Sen. Shelby and his staff for their work in helping Enterprise obtain this grant,” Vickers added. “The city council, (Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation Executive Director) Jonathan Tullos and Mayor (William “Bill) Cooper have been working onthis project for well over a year.”

“It was a total team effort,” said Tullos. “This project will support the city’s strategic Airport Improvement Plan.

“Over time, the Airport Improvement Plan will allow new business opportunities to be created at the airport, as well as aid existing industry’s efforts to diversity,” Tullos said. “Companies like Arista Aviation should see a direct impact.”

“Our airport is a gateway to our city and we always want to put our best presence out there for those flying in for work or leisure,” said Cooper. “These dollars are needed for major work that is needed to take us to the next level at our airport.

“We are about to undergo some major changes at the airport and through these grant dollars, it helps us use general fund money elsewhere,” Cooper added. “We are grateful for our leadership in Washington. They support every grant that we apply for and help us carry our message in Washington, D.C.”

The other FAA grant recipients are Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville which is receiving $10,426,057; Chilton County Airport in Clanton which is receiving $1,905,492; Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores which is receiving $403,470; Lanett Municipal Airport in Lanett which is receiving $89,798; and, Florala Municipal Airport in Florala which is receiving $59,290.

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