FAA awards $3.13M grant to air­port

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - DAVE HUGHES

FORT SMITH — The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Mon­day the award of a $3.13 mil­lion grant for con­struc­tion of a fire sta­tion at the city’s air­port.

The grant is one of four the agency doled out to Arkansas air­ports Mon­day to­tal­ing more than $4.4 mil­lion. The other air­ports and grant amounts were El Do­rado, $196,564; Mon­ti­cello, $460,000; and Texarkana, $651,798, ac­cord­ing to an FAA news re­lease.

Michael Grif­fin, di­rec­tor of the Fort Smith Re­gional Air­port, said the air­port needs a new fire sta­tion be­cause the Arkansas Air Na­tional Guard’s 188th Wing dis­con­tin­ued its fire­fight­ing op­er­a­tion, which also pro­vided fire­fight­ing ser­vice for the civil­ian air­port, af­ter it lost its fly­ing mis­sion in 2014.

Grif­fin said the air­port must chip in 10 per­cent of the to­tal to match the fed­eral grant.

Once the agency re­leases the money, prob­a­bly in a few weeks, the air­port can give the no­tice to pro­ceed with the project, Grif­fin said. In ad­di­tion to build­ing the sta­tion, util­i­ties will have to be ex­tended to the site, an ex­pense Grif­fin said will be cov­ered by the grant.

It will take about 12 to 14 months to com­plete con­struc­tion, he said.

The Air Na­tional Guard al­lowed the air­port to tem­po­rar­ily use its fire sta­tion un­til it could build its own, Grif­fin said.

Since the Air Na­tional Guard lost its fly­ing mis­sion, re­vert­ing to fly­ing re­motely pi­loted air­craft, the air­port hired a con­trac­tor, Pro-Tec Fire Ser­vices of Green Bay, Wis., to pro­vide fire­fight­ers. The air­port bought a new firetruck in 2015, which Grif­fin said doesn’t fit in the Air Na­tional Guard’s sta­tion.

The news re­lease said El Do­rado’s grant will be for in­stal­la­tion of a run­way ver­ti­cal/visual guid­ance sys­tem. Mon­ti­cello’s grant will be for ex­pan­sion of an apron and in­stal­la­tion of apron light­ing. Texarkana’s grant will pay for con­struc­tion of a ter­mi­nal build­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.