JEFFERSON CITY - Sikeston's Memorial Municipal Airport is one of several area airports to receive federal funding.
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced the Sikeston grant which was among $16 million in federal grants for small airports throughout Missouri. The money was included in grants announced Monday in St. Louis by U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.
Sikeston is among airports which will receive up to $150,000. Other local airports to benefit from the grants include Caruthersville Memorial Airport, Dexter Municipal Airport and the New Madrid County Memorial Airport. Major federal funding is to be provided for a new runway at Kennett.
"We're very pleased to fund these improvement projects for aviation facilities throughout Missouri, and we're extremely grateful for the assistance by Missouri's congressional delegation in securing these funds," said MoDOT Director Henry Hungerbeeler. "Airports are important to our smaller communities for travel and economic development. This money will allow MoDOT to work with the communities on airport maintenance and improvement projects."
Missouri is one of nine states that currently administer federal aviation funding to the airports under the State Block Grant program. Including this latest allocation, MoDOT will have administered more than $157 million in federal aviation funding since entering the program in 1989.
Hungerbeeler said funding is generated from aviation user fees on airline tickets and from the sale of aviation fuels. "It does not come from general tax revenue and can only be used for aviation projects."
A total of $24 million in federal grants, including the $16 million, has been awarded to Missouri for fiscal year Oct. 1, 2002, through Sept. 30, 2003. This is the largest grant amount Missouri has received since it began administering the block grant program.
"Projects undertaken with the funding include construction of 16 new runways at existing airports and construction of six new airports, which is more new airports than any other state in the nation," added Brian Weiler, MoDOT multimodal director. "The program allows airports to use the money for planning, design, land acquisition, construction of airfield improvements and airport management.
Missouri is home to 127 public-use airports of which eight are commercial and 119 are for public aviation use.