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Stennis International will get $4.7 million for runway repair

A Volger-Dnepr AH-124-100 lands at Stennis International Airport to unload material for Stennis Space Center.
A Volger-Dnepr AH-124-100 lands at Stennis International Airport to unload material for Stennis Space Center. ttisbell@sunherald.com File

The Mississippi congressional delegation said Stennis International Airport in Hancock is the latest South Mississippi airport to receive millions in federal money.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and Rep. Steven Palazzo, all Republicans, said in a joint news release that the airport would receive $4.7 million.

The money will pay most of the cost of overhauling the airport’s 8,500-foot runway, which is worn out. The airport is applying $150,000 in other entitlement funding toward the project, making $4.85 million available for this work, the delegation said in its release.

“This grant will support the essential maintenance needed at the Stennis International Airport, which is positioned to contribute to Mississippi’s growing aviation and aeronautical sector,” Cochran said.

FAA airport improvement grants are funded through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes, and similar revenue.

“Stennis International Airport is an important contributor to the economic well-being of Hancock County and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Wicker said. “This grant guarantees that Stennis can continue to provide support for the thousands of military, marine research, business, and general aviation flights that the airport serves each year.”

The Stennis airport grant is the third FAA Airport Improvement program award approved for the Gulf Coast this month. On July 5, the FAA announced $2.35 million for the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport and $162,540 for the Picayune Municipal Airport to support runway, taxiway, and security enhancements.

“Stennis is playing a leading role in our nation when it comes to the success of our aviation and aeronautical industries. It’s imperative that their ongoing efforts are supported with a sound infrastructure so that they can continue to work effectively and efficiently toward their mission,” Palazzo said.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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