Chisholm-Hibbing Airport receives $5m federal grant for expansion

16 September 2014 (Last Updated September 16th, 2014 18:30)

The US Department of Transportation has announced a grant of more than $5m for infrastructure improvements at Minnesota's Chisholm-Hibbing Airport.

The US Department of Transportation has announced a grant of more than $5m for infrastructure improvements at Minnesota's Chisholm-Hibbing Airport.

The announcement was made by US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, as well as state representative Rick Nolan.

This grant is in addition to $5m in state bonds the airport received earlier this year.

Also known as Range Regional Airport, Chisholm-Hibbing Airport will use the funds to expand the terminal building by up to 20,000ft², which will enable more efficient passenger movement through the gate holding area. Additional infrastructural improvements, such as passenger use and security requirements, are also part of the upgrades.

"Expanding the Chisholm-Hibbing Airport means expanding the airport's capacity to bring business to the area.quot;

Speaking about the grant, Klobuchar said: "Expanding the Chisholm-Hibbing Airport means expanding the airport's capacity to bring business to the area.

"This support will promote economic development in north-east Minnesota and allow the airport to provide more travellers with safe, reliable air service to and from the region."

Talking about the importance of the investment, Franken said: "By investing in the Range Regional Airport in Hibbing, we are spurring economic development on the Range and bolstering our regional transportation network.

"These critical upgrades will improve airport safety, help create jobs, and go a long way towards making sure that Minnesota's aviation infrastructure system is world class."

The airport will also be receiving $3.6m in discretionary funds from the US Department of Transportation, as well as $1.45m in entitlement grants through the Airport Improvement Program.

Nolan said: "As both a national and global transportation link, Range Regional Airport could not be more vital to our mining and manufacturing operations, as well as to tourism here in the northland."

Construction is expected to be completed by late 2015.