Elkhart airport receives $1 million grant for fencing

Elkhart Truth file photoElkhart Municipal Airport will receive more than $1 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding for safety and security measures.

ELKHART — Elkhart Municipal Airport has been earmarked to receive more than $1 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding to begin the next phase of a project aimed at enhancing safety and security, Mayor Tim Neese announced in a Thursday press release.

Installation began in 2018 on replacement of the airport’s 40-year-old perimeter fence. Replacement is set to occur in four phases, and this grant will allow the second phase to begin in 2019.

The new fence is several feet taller and extends underground, disallowing wildlife to burrow under the fence. The new fence will also include additional safety features aimed at protecting the facility.

“Over the past several years, the Elkhart Municipal Airport has been fortunate to receive several grants from the FAA, totaling nearly $3 million, to improve both safety and navigation,” Neese said in a statement. “These awards have allowed us to leverage local tax dollars and allocate resources at locations citywide that would have otherwise gone to the airport.”

The funding is part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program which provides grants to public agencies – and, in some cases, to private owners and entities – who have been identified as one of nearly 3,400 existing and proposed airports that are significant to national air transportation. The Elkhart Municipal Airport was one of seven Indiana airports to receive a total of $5 million in grants.

The total project cost will be shared 90 percent by the FAA, five percent by the Indiana Department of Transportation and five percent by the City of Elkhart.

The city hopes to begin construction on Phase Two of the perimeter fence in the fall of 2019.

Neese commended the Airport Administration for their successful pursuit of this grant opportunity and the FAA for their continued support of this economic engine for the city.

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