Tupelo airport get grant for runway improvements

Published 3:54 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released a $5.4 million grant to the Tupelo Regional Airport to widen its runway from 100 feet to 150 feet.

The work also will strengthen the runway’s weight-bearing capacity from 90,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds, thus allowing greater cargo-carrying capacity.

Senator Thad Cochran said Monday the funding is important to new industries, such as Toyota, that “rely on timely delivery of materials.”

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The project is part of the federal Airport Improvement Program which provides funds for infrastructure improvements including work on runways, taxiways, noise control, land purchases, navigational aids, safety and security.

The Tupelo City Council earlier this month “preapproved” a grant request from the Tupelo Airport Authority for the money, which helped to speed along the application.