A federal grant helped the city of Shawnee deposit more than $260,000 in the bank to help improve the facilities at Shawnee Regional Airport.




U.S. Sen. James Inhofe said the city is the recipient of a U.S. Department of Transportation grant for $265,781. Inhofe said the money will be used to rehabilitate the apron to prevent further damage. The rehab of the apron will prolong its use at the airport, he said.




“This grant provides the resources to make significant improvements at Shawnee Regional Airport and continues our effort to provide excellent air transportation throughout Oklahoma,” Inhofe said.


A federal grant helped the city of Shawnee deposit more than $260,000 in the bank to help improve the facilities at Shawnee Regional Airport.


U.S. Sen. James Inhofe said the city is the recipient of a U.S. Department of Transportation grant for $265,781. Inhofe said the money will be used to rehabilitate the apron to prevent further damage. The rehab of the apron will prolong its use at the airport, he said.


“This grant provides the resources to make significant improvements at Shawnee Regional Airport and continues our effort to provide excellent air transportation throughout Oklahoma,” Inhofe said.


Ron Massey, field representative for Inhofe, said the rehab project is the first in a series of projects for the airport’s upgrade.


“This needed to happen first,” he said.


Massey said Shawnee has other requests for funding, but this is the first Federal Aviation Administration grant to be approved.


Mayor Chuck Mills said the city has applied for several other grants from the FAA, along with the Oklahoma  Aeronautics Commission. Many federal grants require matches from local and state funding sources, which will require the city and the OAC to provide funding matches.


Mills said that if the city receives all of the grants, Shawnee could receive $3.5 million to $5 million over the next five years to improve the airport.


He said the rehab grant will go toward improving the apron that was built when the airport served as a naval base during World War II.


“It’s held up for a long time, but it needs to be fixed,” Mills said.
Mills said by improving the apron, the airport will increase economic development.
“It’s the important first step for the airport’s upgrade,” he said. “This grant is a great first step for many more grants.”


The apron rehab will coincide with the city’s plans to build a new terminal building. The terminal is expected to house a restaurant and a car rental business.
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Amanda Gire may be reached at amanda.gire@news-star.com or at 214-3934.