Home News Local News Air Center receives grants for taxiways

Air Center receives grants for taxiways

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The Roswell airport has received two grants totaling $741,000 for fiscal year 2019, which starts in October, according to information released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The approved Airport Improvement Program grants were announced Monday, along with $495 million and 358 grants for 327 airports in the United States and the Pacific Islands. In New Mexico, 20 grants and entitlement funding awards for fiscal year 2019 were given to 19 airports for a total of $12.37 million.

The two AIP grants received by the Roswell International Air Center will be used to improve taxiways. One grant for $234,376 will pay to rehabilitate and ensure the structural integrity of 1,900 feet of Taxiway A and 1,000 feet of Taxiway J, according to a grant award notice. The other grant of $506,250 will involve similar work on 4,000 feet of taxiways G, C and H, said Air Center Manager Mark Bleth.

He added that the city is now considering bids for the projects and that work should begin by early fall and be completed by the end of 2019.

The air center also is entitled to about $260,000 more, which will be carried over into the next fiscal year.

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“It takes multiple years and multiple rounds of funding to keep all the concrete and asphalt in good condition,” he said.

Air Center Director Scott Stark added that the ongoing funding ensures future growth for the RIAC, while Bleth explained that the airport also serves an important function in military preparedness and the National Airspace System.

“Just today, we had a team of 10 Air Force personnel from Cannon (Air Force Base) come to certify plane-to-plane refueling locations at the Air Center. … These government grants ensure we have the most capable war fighters in the world,“ he said.

The air center has or will apply for other grants, Bleth said, to fund airport improvements and possible expanded passenger air service to Denver, Colorado.