Notice of FAA Grant Award to Blosser Municipal Airport

NOTICE OF FAA GRANT AWARD TO BLOSSER MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

The City of Concordia received notice on May 15, 2019 that it is the recipient of a $6,950,000 supplemental appropriation award to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program. This grant award will provide for construction of a new ,longer and wider runway and taxiway rehabilitation / construction at Blosser Municipal Airport in Concordia. Blosser Municipal Airport is one of 127 airports in the United States, and one of three airports in Kansas, to be awarded in the second round of funding announcements. Ellsworth Municipal Airport and Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport also received grants. “This supplemental funding allows us to invest in important infrastructure needs at the nation’s airports, especially those serving smaller and rural communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

The $1B Supplemental Appropriation to the FAA Airport Improvement Program was authorized by Congress through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The awards are limited to small rural general aviation airports, and no local match is required. The FAA stated in their May 15, 2019 press release, “Selected projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals. The construction and equipment supported by this funding increase the airports’ safety, emergency response capabilities, capacity, and could support further potential growth and development within each airport’s region…Under the Secretary’s leadership, the FAA is administering the supplemental funding to strengthen the safety and efficiency of America’s airports. These investments increase the nation’s competitiveness and improve the quality of life for the traveling public. According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to enhance the runway and taxiway at Blosser Municipal Airport as a result of this grant award. It would have been extremely difficult to fund the 10% local match required to accomplish this project within our normal capital improvement funds infusion from the FAA, KDOT and our local general fund, and still provide for other infrastructure needs within our community. Lengthening and widening the runway sets the stage for larger planes to take off and land at Blosser Municipal Airport, thereby allowing existing businesses to expand, removing a barrier to new businesses considering Concordia, and providing for safer operations for air ambulance service to support our local hospital,” said Concordia City Manager, Amy Lange.

Concordia Mayor Mark Matthew expressed his appreciation for all those who contributed to this ultimate award, “Application and advocacy for this grant award was certainly a team effort. We wish to thank all those who aided in this journey including our local airport advisory board members Steve Richard and Jason Rourke, airport planning consultant, Brad Waller of Alfred Benesch & Company, city manager Amy Lange, former CloudCorp executive director Ashley Hutchinson, our U.S. Congressmen Representative Roger Marshall and Senator Jerry Moran, and our Kansas Congresswomen Senator Elaine Bowers and Representative Susan Concannon. We also wish to thank our regional FAA representative Jason Knipp and KDOT Aviation Division staffers who guided us through the application process and listened to our orations regarding the need for enhancements to our runway. This project is one example of how cooperative efforts result in positive, forward momentum for our community.”

“Whether it is an air ambulance transporting a patient to an urban hospital, or a business working to get their products across the country, Blosser Municipal Airport represents a lifeline from Concordia to the rest of the world, which I saw firsthand when I visited in December,” said Senator Jerry Moran. “I was pleased to provide support for this grant, which will expand the airport’s capabilities, and I look forward to working with community leaders to see this project through its completion.”

“Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to tour the airport facilities in Concordia, and have seen firsthand the work that the airport is doing for Cloud County. The ability to transport goods and personnel via air service is an important factor in attracting new businesses to the region and expanding existing ones, further improving the quality of life as well as the economies of our small towns. Continuing to improve and expand the services that municipal airports like Concordia can provide is vital to the growth and development of rural communities,” U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D., spoke of the grant award for Blosser Municipal Airport.

The exact timeline of this project is unknown at this time, as the City is currently awaiting further guidance from the FAA.