Saturday, October 28, 2017

Monroe Regional Airport (KMLU) secures $41 million from Federal Aviation Administration

Monroe Regional Airport will benefit from $41 million in funding for construction projects over the next several fiscal years. 

The improvements will focus largely on improving operations behind the scenes through the extension of runways and improved drainage and airfield lighting. 

Mayor Jamie Mayo said city officials met with the Federal Aviation Administration in Fort Worth on Wednesday to discuss airport projects. 

"They have been very, very significant in helping us with so many different projects that we have as well as questions we have regarding Monroe Regional Airport," Mayo said. "Yesterday was no exception. In fact, if I were to sum up the meeting with the FAA, I would say it was very successful."

The FAA committed $41 million in funding over a five-year period to the airport based on projects presented by the city.

"We had to identify potential projects that we can present to the FAA and also state aviation," Ron Phillips, airport director, said. "Once we identified those projects within our master plan ... we had to go to the FAA and also to state aviation and sell that to them. They had to buy into that before they would commit the funding. They looked at and agreed these were worthwhile projects to fund."

The first year of funding is federal fiscal year 2018 when major projects will include initial phases of runway extension, airfield lighting improvements, design on a taxiway and a drainage study. 

"Over the next five years, we are going to be looking at changing the geometry of our airfield," Phillips said. "We are going to be rearranging taxiways, and the reason for that is we want to create a safer environment for the aircraft that are coming in."

A planned extension of the secondary runway will allow the airport to better accommodate flights when the primary runway is closed. During past closures, it has been necessary for flights to either reduce passenger load or divert to another airport when a closure occurs. 

The changes will also reduce hotspots, runway areas with a high potential of collision, and improve drainage to keep water off of the airfield. 

Story and video ➤ http://www.thenewsstar.com

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