Key West International Airport will get $6.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration, one of four Florida airports awarded grants this week.
The grant will help pay for a $10 million runway project set to begin in January, with all construction done at night after the last plane has landed, said Don DeGraw, county director of airports.
“It’s going to give us a brand new runway,” DeGraw said. “We’re going to mill and pave the runway.”
Key West’s lone runway will stay 100 feet wide but will get 10-foot-wide paved shoulders on either side and in one direction, 277 additional feet for takeoff, DeGraw said.
The extra-long takeoff strip is only for flights headed east and will be made from existing pavement.
“We’re just putting some paint on it and putting lights out there,” DeGraw said.
Ninety percent of the project is being paid for by the FAA while 5 percent is from the Florida Department of Transportation and the rest is from passenger facility charges.
Of the $19.8 million in FAA funding given to the four airports, Key West received the largest grant.
“This money is critical to helping our airports meet the demands of an ever-increasing number of travelers,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson ( D-Fla.), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the FAA, said in a statement.
Also receiving money were:
▪ Tampa International Airport, $5,965,488 to rehabilitate taxiway.
▪ Orlando International Airport, $5,289,319 to rehabilitate taxiway.
▪ Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, $2,047,500 to rehabilitate taxiway and taxiway lighting.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen