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U.S. Officials Approve $47.5M to Build New Alaska Airport

Wed June 02, 2021 - West Edition #12
Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved funding for approximately $47.5 million in funding to build a new Alaska airport and refurbish two existing state airports.

The Newtok Airport, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and the Kenai Municipal Airport will receive funding for the projects, Alaska's News Source reported.

The Newtok Airport was granted more than $21.1 million to construct a new airport that is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport received approximately $25.5 million and the Kenai Municipal Airport got approximately $826,000 for renovation projects, Alaska's News Source reported.

The grants were made as part of a more than $600 million in infrastructure funding from the federal Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration that will offer 499 grants to 390 airports in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Federated States of Micronesia.

"These grants are an investment in safety and continued innovation," said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. "Every airport in every community plays a vital role in our air transportation system."

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities had initiated the Newtok Airport Relocation Project in 2018 because ground surrounding the airport and village is deteriorating, the outlet reported. The airport and community will relocate to higher ground, according to a transportation department statement.

The transportation department had allocated $8 million for the construction project in 2019.

After completing design plans, public hearings and environmental studies, construction was scheduled to begin in February, but the Associated Press did not receive a response to a message sent seeking comment from the transportation department about that project's progress.

The new project plan by the FAA said the new airport will include a main runway, taxiway, an aircraft parking apron, two equipment storage buildings, an access road and supporting utility infrastructure.

"The project is critical to the airport and to the village of Newtok, which is home to an Alaska Native community of 374 residents," the FAA said.

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