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SARA seeks $1.8M for runway safety area

South Alabama Regional Airport is seeking $1.8 million in FAA airport improvement money to fix some issues related to the runway safety area.

The project is estimated to cost $2 million with the additional funds coming from the state and a $100,000 match from the airport board.

Both Executive Director Jed Blackwell and engineer Michelle Conway said that tentatively have the funds secured, but should know by the end of the calendar year ad definite answer.

The project has been on the AIP list for nearly 10 years.

An incident involving an aircraft late last month is all the reason that the improvements need to be made, according to Blackwell.

Conway said that the changes need to be made where there are trees and wetlands are currently in the safety area.

When the runway was extended, it was required that there be an additional 200 feet of safety area.

The project will ensure that the areas are graded properly and that a stream is mitigated.

The area in question is where aircraft would go if it was to run off the runway.

Also on the AIP project list for the upcoming years are:

• A $750,000 project that includes runway markings, taxiway sealcoat and markings. (FYE 2021)

• A $550,000 heliport renovation (FYE 2022)

• An apron sealcoat for $220,000 (FYE 2023)

• Development site grading for $750,000 (FYE 2025)