GTRA lands grant for runway upgrade

July 23, 2013 9:53:52 AM

Nathan Gregory - [email protected]


Golden Triangle Regional Airport will be among several in Mississippi to benefit from a grant approved by U.S. legislators Monday. 


The U.S. Senate approved the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act, created to facilitate long-term aviation planning by the FAA. 


The airport will receive $388,549 to seal coat the 1,500-foot extended portion of its runway and taxiway, GTRA Executive Director Mike Hainsey said. The project consists of seal coating 25,000 square yards of runway pavement and 10,000 square yards of taxiway pavement to maintain structural integrity. 


"When this is done in the first few years of asphalt being laid it extends the life of the asphalt significantly," Hainsey said. "The grant is also to design a $2.5 million project we're still waiting on funding for that will mill and repave the original 6,500 feet of taxiway as well as widen all our turnoffs from the runway for bigger airplanes." 


U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss, said communities in the state rely on this and similar grant programs designed to benefit rural areas and spur economic development. 


"This legislation gives the Federal Aviation Administration much-needed authority to improve the efficiency and safety of air travel in the United States," Cochran said in a press release. "Its enactment is long overdue, but I am optimistic that the changes incorporated into this bill will benefit Mississippi and the nation." 


The FAA had operated under a series of short-term extensions after the FAA authorization law expired in 2007.

Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.