Airport receives millions in federal grants


Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.

Money is flying into the Gainesville Regional Airport for improvements.

The airport announced Thursday that the city has been awarded more than $4 million in federal money for a taxiway and apron project at the airport. Work could begin as soon as November.

The money includes a $2,487,157 federal discretionary grant to rehabilitate the taxiway and build a new connector to the main commercial runway and $1,790,270 in Federal Aviation Authority money to help complete the $4.7 million project, according to an airport news release. It includes repaving the main commercial taxiway, replacing lights and signage and replacing a connector between the taxiway and apron.

"The new connector to the taxiway is important to the safety of pilots traversing from apron, to taxiway to runway," airport CEO Allan Penksa said in the news release. "The connector is also the first step in expanding the apron to our west, allowing for safer passenger boarding."

The airport also has been awarded a $170,000 Florida Department of Transportation grant for parking lot improvements. A smaller grant will go toward improvements to the general aviation terminal.

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