FAA awards $9.3 million grant for safety improvements for Statesville airport

Posted at 2:47 PM on May 15, 2019

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $9.3 million grant to fund safety improvements at the Statesville Regional Airport.

The grant will pay for Runway 10 Safety Improvements under the FAA's next round of Airport Improvement Program Supplemental Funding.

Statesville City Council members Michael Johnson and William Morgan have been working behind the scenes for months to build a broad base of support for the grant. The received word from U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Ted Budd that the Statesville airport was one of two in North Carolina that had been awarded funding.

“We were told early on that this was a highly competitive process, so we worked very hard from every angle possible to ensure Statesville’s application was given serious consideration,” Johnson said in a news release. “This grant will change the trajectory of the Statesville Regional Airport for decades to come.”

Morgan said the support of elected officials and the local motorsports industry helped the local grant application rise to the top.

“We knew this was a really good project, but we also knew there were really good projects all over the nation that we were competing against," he explained. "Sen. Tillis and his staff, Kyle Sanders, were instrumental in carrying us over the finish line and we are extremely grateful.”

Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Budd and Rep. Virginia Foxx also submitted letters of support.

Johnson and Morgan also coordinated their efforts with former N.C. Rep. Karen Ray of the N.C. Motorsports Association, an organization that supported the grant for its ability to add critical safety measures important to many NASCAR teams and their families who use Statesville Regional Airport weekly during race season.

The Runway 10 safety area improvements will create an FAA standard graded safety that will allow departing aircraft to maximize the use of the full existing runway pavement in both directions, bringing significant economic development opportunities to the airport, the City of Statesville and the region, according to the news release. 

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