July 31, 2019 05:48 PM
(ABC 6 News) - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $12.5 million in infrastructure grants to Minnesota airports; 3.3 million of that is coming to Rochester International Airport.
“With an airport, you’re going to be continually working on growth, and you also have to maintain the infrastructure that you already have,” said Tiana O’Connor, marketing and communications manager at Rochester International Airport.
Maintenance and improvements, while important to safety and overall traveler experience come with a steep price tag.
“The federal grants really allow us to be able to maintain the airport and expand in able to serve the needs of the community,” O’Connor said.
Rochester International Airport is one of 17 airports in Minnesota to receive a chunk of money from the FAA.
“Regardless of the size of the particular airport, the community that that airport supports, each one of them, is an economic driver, providing jobs, providing access to larger transportation markets and providing critical services to the folks that live in the community,” said Kirk Shaffer, associate administrator for airports for the FAA.
O’Connor said the money coming to Rochester will do two things.
“Allow us to acquire and install a new jet bridge, and also begin the design for part of our runway reconstruction on the secondary runway,” she said.
“With the runway reconstruction keeping that airfield very safe, and then also improving the passenger experience of folks coming and going through your airport,” Shaffer said.
“At the current times with our peak flights, we are actually constrained on our jet bridges, so adding an additional jet bridge allows us to be able to serve the passengers that we need and be able to recruit in additional flights,” O’Connor said.
With the airport serving more passengers than ever before, the new funds will help more passengers take flight.
Albert Lea Municipal Airport is also benefiting from the FAA’s grants; they’re set to receive more than $272,000 to update an airport Master Plan study.
Created: July 31, 2019 05:48 PM
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