FAA grant to help airport runway
By Kathryn Eastburn
Greenwood-Leflore Airport has received an $863,836 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to rehabilitate its runway.
The Greenwood airport’s grant is one of 15 given to local airports throughout Mississippi, totaling more than $6.32 million.
Airport manager Grady Perkins said it’s a big project rehabilitating the entire main runway, which is 6,500 feet long and 150 feet wide.
The rehab project will entail milling parts of the runway where significant cracking is taking place, replacing the milled areas with recycled asphalt, sealing the entire runway with a top coat and restriping it.
Using federal funds now, before the runway is in worse shape, will prevent future problems, Perkins said: “The cracks signal the end of the useful life of the pavement. It’s in pretty bad shape, and we really need to fix it now, before it gets worse.”
Small cracks in the runway are not hazardous to planes landing and taking off but can become hazardous if allowed to expand.
Grant money from the FAA in 2013 and 2016 went to widening the airport’s taxiways to allow larger planes better access.
The most recent grants, dispensed in Washington on Tuesday and announced by U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, went to larger airports in the Golden Triangle region, Meridian and Jackson, and to 11 smaller airports across the state.
Allan Hammons, who helped prepare the grant for the airport’s board of directors, said these federal funds are the lifeblood of airports around the country.
“Our airport is a relatively busy airport compared to most,” he said. “If you didn’t have federal funding, most cities would be hard-pressed to find funds to keep them going.”
Perkins said the airport is delighted to have funds to complete the needed work on its runway.