Kentucky awarded $11M in federal aviation discretionary grants to boost aviation

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Two Kentucky general aviation airports received nearly $11 million in federal discretionary grants to boost safety and economic development within the state’s vibrant aerospace industry. These funds are part of a $477 million nationwide investment announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve aviation infrastructure.

The Gallatin Airport in Sparta, Ky., will receive $9 million to invest in grading and drainage work critical to building a new general aviation airport, and the London-Corbin Airport in London, Ky., will receive $1.85 million for needed runway reconstruction on Magee Field.

General aviation airports serve private aircraft and are not used for commercial passenger flights.

Regarding the construction of the new Gallatin County airport, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas said, “Governor Bevin has been a moving force since the beginning of his administration in getting this 15-year-long project off the ground by securing land for the airport that’s primed to spur economic development in this growing region of the state.”

The Gallatin regional airport will fill an aviation gap in the region and be the first general aviation airport to serve the business needs of the I-71 corridor from Louisville to Cincinnati. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019. Once complete, the airport will feature a 5,500-foot runway, full-length parallel taxiway, a terminal building, fuel system and corporate and conventional t-hangars.

Funding for the London-Corbin Airport will improve safety by reconstructing the existing 6,000 feet runway. Ensuring safety is key for the rural airport to remain a reliable hub for businesses interested in economic development in Eastern Kentucky. The airport was the site of a recent celebration, including Gov. Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers, to recognize a new Kentucky Appalachia Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Training Project to address a shortage of skilled aviation mechanics needed to support the aviation industry.

An additional $1.3 million was listed in the U.S. DOT announcement that reflects a portion of federal funds regularly allocated to maintain and improve Kentucky airports.

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