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The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded 52 grants totaling nearly $42 million to Arkansas airports to repair runways and taxiways, install runway lighting and perform other improvements.

The largest grant, $6.8 million, went to Texarkana Regional Airport to construct a taxiway to serve a new $13 million terminal under construction.

The state's largest airport, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field, won grants totaling nearly $6.4 million to pay for ongoing projects to expand and rebuild its airline and cargo aprons.

Fifty of the state's 93 public-use airports received money from the latest round of grants under the Federal Aviation Administration's airport improvement program.

They were among 454 airports in 44 states as well as Puerto Rico and Micronesia that received nearly $1 billion in grants under the program. The grants were the fifth allotment in airport improvement grants totaling $3.18 billion for airports across the United States, the department said.

Money for the airport improvement program comes from the Airport & Airway Trust Fund, which receives money raised from taxes on airline tickets sold to the public and a tax on aviation fuel.

"Infrastructure projects funded by these grants will advance safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide other economic benefits for local communities," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in announcing the grants.

Selected projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, noise mitigation, emissions reduction, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons and terminals, according to the department.

Airports can receive a certain amount of airport improvement program entitlement funding each year based on activity levels and project needs, the department said. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.

In addition to Texarkana and Clinton National, nine other Arkansas airports received grants exceeding $1 million.

They included Thompson-Robbins Airport at Helena/West Helena, which received $4.8 million to rebuild its runway; Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport at Highfill, which received $3.1 million to improve its passenger terminal and repair a taxiway; and Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field in Arkadelphia, which received $2.2 million to rebuild its runway.

North Little Rock Municipal Airport received $266,399 to install an automated weather observing system, which includes a computer-generated voice message broadcast to pilots in the vicinity of the airport.

The smallest grant -- $64,405 -- went to Rogers Executive Airport/Carter Field to rebuild a taxiway.

Business on 10/19/2019

Print Headline: Airports to share millions in grants

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