A grant through the Airport Improvement Program of the Federal Aviation Administration is providing funding to reconstruct the main runway of the Joplin Regional Airport. The runway project is a multi-phased project as required by the FAA to match the funding cycles of the legislative appropriations. The engineering design of the runway was part of the 2018 program, and the rebuilding of the runway is in their funding appropriations this year. Funding is being provided in accordance with the FAA approved project consisting of the second phase which includes reconstructing the south 3,000 fee of Runway 18/36 and replacing the adjacent runway lights.
Congressman Billy Long announced the grant earlier this month and noted the significance that the Joplin Regional Airport offers as an economic impact to southwest Missouri and the region. The grant of $7,869,866 is comprised of FAA funding as well as monies through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act) of $2,287,777. The CARES grant also provided funding for the local match of $786,986, so the City did not have an expense on Phase 2 of this project.
“This is an important infrastructure project for our area, as it provides a critical component for the air travel within our region,” said Steve Stockam, Manager for the Joplin Regional Airport. “The project brings federal dollars back into our community and will provide an economic stimulus.”
Stockam said that this is the first round of grants to pay for the project, and another round of funding is expected next spring. The anticipated start of the runway construction project is late spring or early summer of 2021.
The Joplin City Council approved the grant during a special meeting on September 14, 2020, prior to moving into a work session to discuss compensation of City of Joplin employees.