ASHEVILLE – Asheville Regional Airport has received another federal grant to help pay for an ongoing project to replace its runway and to buy a new fire and rescue vehicle, 11th District U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows announced Tuesday.
The $10.9 million grant comes from the Federal Aviation Administration. Meadows, a Jackson County Republican, announced a $10 million federal grant for the project in April 2015.
The airport switched flights to a temporary runway in December as part of a $75 million, five-year project to replace what had been the airport's first and only runway. The temporary runway will be used for about two years, then it will become a taxiway when the new, permanent runway is completed, airport officials said at the time.
"We do work with the FAA to plan for big projects like this, so we have an idea of what to expect," said airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey. However, the grant is a discretionary one, meaning the FAA could have chosen to give the money to another airport, she said.
The runway replacement project is the biggest construction project at the airport since it opened in 1961, said Lew Bleiweis, airport executive director.
"The FAA grant funding will help us complete this important project so the airport can continue to operate safely, efficiently and productively well into the future," he said.
The airport plans for federal and state government to pay 85 percent of the cost of the project with the remaining 15 percent to come from airport fees and other revenue.
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