Federal funds to help with taxiway improvements as $10M expansion continues
The Columbia-Marion County Airport will be able to continue with more improvements as it will be receiving an additional $770,000.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Infrastructure Projects program will be providing $600,000 over the next four years ($150,000 per year), and a grant from Mississippi Department of Transportation will provide the additional $170,000.
County Engineer Jeff Dungan said with the money additional work at the airport can run concurrently with the $10.2 million runway expansion.
Dungan said the new funds will allow the fuel farm to be moved, begin rehabilitation of the taxiway and build a new apron for the new fuel farm.
The current fuel farm encroaches on the required clear zone with the new runway expansion, Dungan explained as to why the fuel farm needs to be moved.
Dungan said the work will begin next month and expected to take six months. Walters Construction, which is currently doing the paving of the runway, will be working on the rehabilitation of the taxiway.
Tom Porter, president of the Airport Authority, said some of the fuel barn pumps need to be updated, so when it is moved that is something the airport authority will do themselves.
The second phase of the taxi runaway rehabilitation will cost about $800,000, Dungan said. The FAA has projected some funding for it in fiscal year 2021. Once this phase is completed taxiway rehabilitation will be completed.
“The money we received this time from the FAA and the state grant is very important because we needed this to help to make the airport expansion viable. It is exciting to be able to do this now and not have to wait,” said Porter.
Porter said the second phase of the taxiway project will have to be done, but the airport can be utilized before then.The second phase is set to begin in 2021 depending on the funding received, according to Dungan. Future plans discussed include after 2021 relocating the terminal building and expanding the apron.
Pictured Above: Part of the Columbia-Marion County Airport is seen Tuesday as construction on a $10.2 million runway expansion continues. To run concurrently with the current project, additional funding has been received to start rehabilitating the taxiway and move the fuel farm. Work will begin on the new project next month, airport officials said. | Photo by Susan Amundson