The Marana Regional Airport will receive a $4.5 million grant to repair an aircraft parking apron, and a $1 million grant to repair a taxiway.
The news came as part of U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announcement that the Federal Aviation Administration will award $770.8 million in airport infrastructure grants, the third allotment of the total $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program funding.
“These Airport Improvement Grants are investments in our country’s critical infrastructure,” Chao said. “These grants are down payments to ensure Marana Regional Airport remains an economic engine as demand grows.”
The grants will fund infrastructure projects that include runways, taxiways, aprons and terminal projects. These projects are important to the safety and efficiency of the nation’s system of airports.
Airports receive a certain amount of AIP entitlement funding each year based on activity levels and project needs. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.
Town of Marana Regional Airport Director Steve Miller recently told Tucson Local Media that replacing the surfaces will make the airport safer. As the surface gets older, it begins to degrade and can become dangerous, to both people and planes.
The project will not only restore the surface, but improve it, Miller said.
“Marana Regional Airport was never designed for jets and, save for the runways, the pavement was not meant for the larger aircraft that now land at the facility on a daily basis,” he said, “The new pavement will be strengthened nearly three-fold over the previous surface, which not only makes it safer, but adds longevity.
According to Miller, the reconstruction project will last about six months.