Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) will receive a $9.1m grant from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a number of improvement projects, including the construction of a new air traffic control tower.
The funding was a part of a national airport improvement programme, which is funded by user fees on airline tickets and aviation fuel. Airports across the US use this fund to make capital improvements.
The air traffic control tower project has been under consideration for five years and has received equal funding participation from both SRQ and the Florida department of transportation (FDOT).
According to the airport’s plan, the tower will be relocated to the south-west part of the property to enable development of hangars and other commercial buildings spread over 40 acres. Relocating of the tower was crucial as the property could not be developed, because the new buildings would block air traffic controllers’ views.
The airport will also use this FAA grant to continue its terminal renovation project, as well as expand the US customs and border protection federal inspection services (FIS) facility and airfield taxi lanes.
The FAA agreed to provide a discretionary funding of $4m, which SRQ president chief executive officer Rick Piccolo said was critical to move forward with the new air traffic control tower.
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"We look forward to completing a new ATC tower, which will enhance the safety and efficiency of our airfield," said Piccolo.