By Gary Mitchell
The Clovis Municipal Airport will receive $457,818 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for improvements to the facility, according to New Mexico’s congressional delegation.
U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., reported Friday that the U.S. Transportation Department has approved an award of 19 grants worth more than $5.53 million to make improvements to airports across New Mexico, including the Clovis airport.
The project is funded under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.
Officials at the Clovis Municipal Airport will use the funding to rehabilitate a portion of the aircraft parking apron, which is 30 years old, highly oxidized, and extensively causing disruptions of safe aircraft operations. The grant will also update taxiway pavement that’s in a similar condition, said Steve Summers, Clovis Municipal Airport manager.
“This is part of our Phase 1 project for asphalt replacement on the main ramp and the south side T-hangar,” he said. “We need about $800,000 to do the complete two phases, but this will definitely help to hold down material on the runway. We’re losing some of our asphalt, which could be damaging to aircraft, so we needed to get it done. We’re very happy to get started on it. It will be beneficial for all our users.”
Grants were made for work in Alamogordo, Artesia, Carlsbad, Carrizozo, Clayton, Clovis, Deming, Espanola, Glenwood/Catron County, Harding County, Hobbs, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Las Cruces, Lordsburg, Ramah Navajo Chapter, Reserve, Ruidoso, Santa Rosa and Vaughn.
“Five million dollars is a sizable award for these smaller airports in New Mexico,” Domenici said. “The resources will be used primarily to upgrade runways and airport facilities to improve safety and efficiency.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., confirmed Friday the funds are on its way.
“Affordable and accessible air service is a critical engine of economic growth for eastern New Mexico,” Udall said. “This funding will allow the airport to make needed improvements that will help it expand and improve service for travelers. I’m pleased these federal funds will be delivered to improve this already outstanding facility.”