Department of Transportation funding to aid Austin, Battle Mountain, Hawthorne
June 10, 2008
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign today announced more than $1 million in grant funding from the Department of Transportation (DOT) for modernization and improvements to rural airports in Nevada.
Upgrading air travel in rural Nevada is critical to future economic development projects, allowing safer and more convenient access to various areas of the state. This funding will provide an automated weather observing system in Austin, and improved runway lighting and fencing in Battle Mountain.
It will also fund an updated airport master plan in Hawthorne, which will be extremely important to help avoid any Department of Defense attempt to put the Hawthorne Army Depot back on the Base Realignment and Closure list in the future. Senators Reid and Ensign successfully worked in 2005 to preserve hundreds of jobs in Hawthorne by keeping the depot open.
“I have flown into and out of many of Nevada’s smaller airports and know that we need to make sure they are as safe and secure as any facility in the state,” Reid said. “We want to continue working to spur job growth throughout rural Nevada and one important piece of that puzzle is upgrading our ability to reach areas like Lander and Mineral County by air. I will also do everything I can to ensure we keep the jobs we have at the Hawthorne Army Depot.”
“Rural airports are so important to the infrastructure of our state,” Ensign said. “Nevada is such a vast span of land and traveling from city to city often entails driving hundreds of miles, especially in the northern areas of our state. These funds will allow for the necessary improvements to be made at our rural airports to ensure that safety remains a top priority and to further expand the use of these airports as an alternative to driving across the state.”
The projects funded by these grants are:
· AUSTIN, $574,750: This grant will provide for the installation of an automated weather observing system (AWOS) and for the construction of the airport service road at Austin Airport.
· BATTLE MOUNTAIN, $334,400: This grant will provide for rehabilitated runway edge lighting on Runway 12/30, final installation of distance remaining signs on 12/30 and more perimeter fencing for Battle Mountain Airport.
· HAWTHORNE, $150,000: This grant will allow Hawthorne to update the airport master plan for Hawthorne Industrial Airport, which is currently more than 10 years old.
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