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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Applauds $9 Million in Federal Grants for Rural Airport Improvements

Media Contacts:  
Eric Maher, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1974
Vicki Kramer, Department of Transportation, 402-479-4512
Media Release:
Gov. Ricketts Applauds $9 Million in Federal Grants for Rural Airport Improvements

LINCOLN – Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced three rural Nebraska airports will receive over $9 million in federal grants through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP).  The supplemental discretionary grants will provide funding for runway rehabilitation and other improvements at Thomas County Airport in Thedford, Gordon Municipal Airport, and Red Cloud Municipal Airport.

“Thank you to President Trump for his Administration’s emphasis on supporting the aviation need of our rural communities and for understanding the big economic benefits that come with regional mobility and commerce,” said Governor Pete Ricketts.  “I appreciate the FAA for approving my recommendation on projects that support critical needs for Gordon, Red Cloud, and Thedford based on NDOT’s Aviation Capital Improvement Plan.”

The three projects were among 33 submitted by Nebraska for “priority consideration,” meeting the intent of federal legislation that funding go to airports serving the needs of rural America.  The projects include submissions from Nebraska airports as well as projects from the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s (NDOT) Airport Capital Improvement Plan and reflect the FAA’s emphasis in supporting rural airports.  Of the 33 projects, these three were identified as a significant need for the state and determined to provide substantial value. 

Nebraska Third District Congressman Adrian Smith, who represents one of the largest rural congressional districts in the country, said he was pleased with NDOT’s emphasis and dedication to Nebraska rural airports.  “The maintenance of these facilities is critical to the infrastructure needs of Nebraska,” said Congressman Smith.

Nebraska’s grants were part of $779 million in supplemental funding for infrastructure grants to 127 airports in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  Selected projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals.  The construction and equipment supported by this funding increase the airports’ safety, capacity, and security.