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Roswell Air Center receives federal grant

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The Roswell Air Center will receive a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to rehabilitate some of its taxiways.

A press release issued Friday by the FAA states the Air Center will be one of three New Mexico airports to receive Airport Improvement Program grants. According to the FAA website, the grants are used to help fund improvements to airport infrastructure such as runways, taxiways and lighting.

The $1,218,750 grant made to the Air Center will be used to help cover the cost of rehabilitating two taxiways that feed the Air Center’s crosswind runway, Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the city of Roswell, said in an email Friday.

He added the design phase on the estimated $1.3 million project has already started. Construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2020, he said. The state and the city of Roswell will then split evenly the matching fund cost of the remaining $81,250 of the project.

Scott Stark, director of the Roswell Air Center, said the grant money is a sign that the federal government realizes the Air Center’s importance.

“We all know the value the Air Center brings to our local and state economy. We are grateful that the FAA recognizes it with this investment,” Stark said.

The Airport Improvement Program grant for the Air Center is part of an overall package of $485 million in federal investments for airports around the nation that Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation announced Friday, according to the release.

“The robust economy is enabling more travelers — more passengers to travel by air — so this administration is investing billions of dollars in America’s airports, which will address safer airport operations, fewer airport delays and greater ease of travel for air travelers,” Chao said.

The other two New Mexico airports that will be awarded grants similar to the one Roswell Air Center has received are Clayton Municipal Airport, receiving a $2.5 million grant to rehabilitate a taxiway and the Tucumcari Municipal Airport, which will be awarded $2.8 million to reconstruct a runway.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.