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Lanett Airport receives $8.1 million in funding to extend runway

LANETT — The Lanett Municipal Airport received a revenue boost Friday after U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, announced a grant that will allocate $8.1 million to the local airport.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to five airports across the state for improvements to support infrastructure construction, safety advances and equipment acquisition, according to a news release from the city of Lanett and the Chambers County Development Authority Tuesday.

The grant awarded to the five airports was $20.8 million overall with Lanett receiving the largest appropriation of $8.1 million.

Pictured is a sign at the Lanett Municipal Airport Tuesday. The airport received $8.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will extend the runway by 1,000 feet and will allow the airport to accommodate modern business jets. — Dustin Duncan

“This FAA funding will significantly improve the functionality, safety, and efficiency of these airports,” Shelby said. “It is vital that we continue to make important infrastructure investments in Alabama to ensure the growth of local communities and future economic success. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact that these aviation advancements will have on our state.”

According to the development authority, the allocation to the Lanett airport will allow the city to continue its effort to realign its runway and extend it from 4,400 feet up to 5,400 feet. When the runway grows beyond 5,000 feet, it allows the airport to accommodate modern business jets.

Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy said he was grateful for the support from the state leadership to improve the city’s airport.

“I believe that these new aviation advancements will have an insurmountable impact on the economic growth of our city and surrounding areas,” he said. “I am appreciative for Sen. Shelby, Governor Ivey, and all who had a part in our efforts.”

The grant was also part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which was signed into law last year and it provided the Federal Aviation Administration an additional $1 billion in discretionary grants. The grants in this round of funding for the five Alabama airports ranged from $8.1 million for the Lanett airport to $1.04 million for the Scottsboro Municipal-Word Field Airport.

The Lanett airport is publicly owned and operated at exit 77 on I-85 in Lanett. The development authority says there are more than 1,200 acres of developable land.