Troy gets final OK on FAA funds

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The City of Troy learned Tuesday it will receive the promised FAA funds to complete renovations at the Troy Municipal Airport.

The city was notified Tuesday of the awarding of a $1,994,209 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration with fund disbursement from the Department of Transportation for the runway expansion at the Troy Airport.

The city and state match for the grant will be $52,479 each, bringing the total project to $2,099,167.

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Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the grant award was “perfect.”

“We were approved for everything that we had asked for and just what we need,” Lunsford said.

Included in the grant award were funds for glide slope relocation ($236,000) an obstruction survey ($85,000) and environmental permitting ($10,000).

“The awarding of this grant is an important achievement for the City of Troy,” Lunsford said. “To have a 6,500-foot runway with full instrumentation gives us a leg up on most communities our size in recruiting industries that require a lengthy runway.

“As far as general aviation airports, we will be the only one in the state with a 6,500-foot runway.”

The city’s airport also benefited from a million-dollar instrument landing system that was installed by the Army this year.

Lunsford said in everyday vernacular, “and it’s certainly not why we did the project,” the airport runway expansion will make it possible for Troy University’s football team to charter flights in and out of Troy and also for visiting teams to do the same.

“Of course, it will be a great benefit to major industries and international industries that fly on larger jets to be able to land here,” the mayor said. “This grant puts us in an enviable position in many ways and we are extremely excited about the grant award and very appreciative of it. We are looking forward to completing the project by the end of the year.”

Lunsford said he would sign the necessary grant acceptance papers today.

“The council has already given me the authority to sign the papers and I’ll get them signed so we can overnight them to the DOT,” he said. “We’ll award the bids at the next city council meeting.”

Lunsford said the airport expansion project has been in the works for a long time.

“We began justification studies almost six years ago and construction began about two years ago,” Lunsford said. “It’s been lengthy but, when the airport expansion project is completed, Troy will have something of benefit for a long, long time.”