06/30/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/30/2020 20:59
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Gary Peters (MI) today announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be awarding $544,000 to the Houghton County Memorial Airport. This Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant is supplemented by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act - which Stabenow and Peters helped enact - to support airports affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will go towards infrastructure improvements including the construction of a taxilane.
'The Houghton County Memorial Airport plays a critical role in economic development and tourism in the Upper Peninsula,' said Senator Stabenow. 'When we invest in Michigan's airports, we invest in safe and efficient travel.'
'Ensuring safe and reliable air travel continues in Northern Michigan will enable our communities to remain connected to markets and destinations during this pandemic,' said Senator Peters. 'I'm pleased to announce this grant, which will strengthen transportation infrastructure in our state and improve travel safety for Michiganders.'
'The airport is an important part of our community and serves as the gateway to the Keweenaw providing a vital link to the world. Before the pandemic, Houghton County Airport was on a pace to have a great year, however, when the shut down occurred it became clear the airport needed help. The funding has allowed us to maintain our level of services necessary to ensure safe operations for uninterrupted travel, emergency services, and cargo operations while maintaining jobs tied to Airport projects,' said Dennis Hext, Airport Manager, Houghton County Memorial Airport. 'We are grateful to have received CARES funding to help offset the loss of revenue and help pay for our operating expenses and capital projects until the storm passes.'
The FAA grants are administered through Fiscal Year 2020 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) annual and supplemental awards. Funds provided through the CARES Act serve as the local match for the infrastructure grants. Michigan will receive over $5.4 million in grant funding to help ensure critical safety and capacity projects continue without financial disruption.