USDOT Emergency Funds Aid Hurricane Battered Airports

Tue December 07, 2004 - National Edition

The federal government will spend $20.5 million to fund repairs at 71 airports along the Eastern seaboard that were damaged by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

“The damage done by this year’s hurricanes reminds us how much we rely on our airports and how important they are to the nation’s economy and quality of life,” said Mineta. “These grants will help restore our airports to their conditions before the hurricanes found them.”

The funds will be distributed to airports in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

Congress recently passed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Disaster Assistance Act.

On Oct. 15, after the measure’s passage, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sent a letter to airport owners and operators in areas most affected by the hurricanes to make them aware of the funds and the grant application deadline of Oct. 25.

The funding will pay for a range of projects, including repair or replacement of terminal buildings, hangars and security lighting.

“We are delivering on President Bush’s commitment to assist hurricane-affected states in every way possible to get these airports back to normal,” said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey.