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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Lawrence County Airport Secures ARPA Fund Request and possible RDC funding for runway project

LAWRENCE COUNTY - MARCH 4, 2023 - The runway project at Virgil Grissom Municipal Airport in Bedford is on hold for the second phase of the project until funding can be secured from the complete it.

Photo: Phase I of the Virgil Grissom Municipal Airport is complete

The project will be done in two phases with the first phase of the project completed.

Phase one of the project included the grading and drainage for the runway. This included moving dirt to create the taxiway, and entrance and three exits.

Phase II of the project will cost about $2.6 Million with the FAA was expected to fund 90 percent of the project. The Indiana Department of Transportation providing five percent of the match and five percent with local matching funds.

However, in September 2022, the FAA did not award the funding to this project.

The purpose of the project is important to prevent runway incursions during the landing and takeoff of airplanes on the same runway.

According to the FAA, a runway incursion is " any occurrence in the airport runway environment involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, object, on the ground that creates a collision hazard, or results in the loss of separation of an aircraft taking off.

There are approximately three runway incursions a day at a towered airport, and the number of unreported incursions at non-towered airports must be much higher. Virgil Grissom Municipal Airport does not have a tower.

There are two runways at the Virgil Grissom Municipal Airport.

Virgil Grissom Stats:

  • 350 Arrivals and Departures

  • 40 Privately owned aircraft

  • Several businesses use the airport such as Rural King, Lehigh Construction Project, Insurance companies

  • Revenue generated from fuel purchases, hangar rentals, aviation mechanic and paint services

  • Community resources for local police training, medical helicopter, and military uses the facilities for various services

  • 4,500 feet runway allows all types of aircraft the ability to land/take off

According to Jeff Lytton, manager and president of the Lawrence County Council told the Lawrence County RDC that the Lawrence County RDC does not have enough funds to be able to pay for the remaining five percent which that portion is $184,075.

During the Lawrence County Council Budget process Lytton was able to get a tax rate increase, with the Lawrence County Aviation fund increasing 165 percent over the 2022 budget.

The Lawrence County Commissioners approved $184,075 to the Virgil Grissom Runway project using ARPA funds.

Next, Thursday the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission will meet at 10:00 am to again discuss the runway project.

Lawrence County Zephyr will continue to monitor developments on this story.


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