By Madison Willis
The Staff of The News 

Airports to receive $9.32 million in grants


Last updated 7/22/2023 at 1:14pm

As of Thursday, Clovis Regional Airport and Portales Municipal Airport, along with four other local airports, will be receiving $9.32 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, according to a press release from the New Mexico Delegation, which includes New Mexico members of the U.S. Congress.

The release states funds will be split between six airports within New Mexico, where the money will be utilized to construct equipment building, repair runways, and other infrastructure needs.

Clovis City Manager Justin Howalt said that the city has always tried to provide services to its citizens, whether it be through the community itself or towards the airport. He said that the city strives to improve the community through infrastructure improvements, quality of life and economic development, and this grant is one of those ways in doing so.

Clovis Regional Airport will be receiving $798,392 in grant money provided by the FAA AIP to obtain aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicles, said Howalt.

“This grant will allow us to go out and secure larger ARF (aircraft rescue and firefighting) units for our regional airport, which will expand our capabilities to protect larger aircraft at the Clovis Regional Airport,” Howalt said.

How the funds would be allocated has been discussed by city officials for the past couple of years, due to increased passenger service at the Clovis Regional Airport, said Howalt.

Portales Municipal Airport will receive $89,092 to install a runway vertical visual guidance system and install navigational aids.

Portales City Manager Sarah Austin could not be reached on Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said in the release that contributing to local airports ensures that New Mexico communities stay connected to air services.

“Our local airports connect New Mexico communities to health care services and important tourism and trade opportunities,” said Heinrich.

The multi-million dollar grant will serve to modernize infrastructure within the six airports, said U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., in the release. As a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Luján said he was a big advocate for getting this grant approved so that communities can stay connected, while boosting the state economy in safe traveling practices.

In addition to Clovis and Portales, grants were awarded to the following airports:

• Albuquerque International Sunport will be using a $7,155,149 grant to reconstruct runway lighting.

• Artesia Municipal Airport will rehabilitate taxiways with its $121,500 grant.

• Truth Or Consequences Municipal Airport will receive $674,274 to reconstruct the apron.

• Socorro Municipal Airport will modify snow removal equipment with a $488,474 grant.

These modern adjustments will ensure the safety of air travel and improve on-time flight schedules for travelers U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, D-N.M., stated in the release.

Howalt said that the airport is a huge asset to the city of Clovis and expressed gratitude for how the New Mexico State Legislature has assisted, especially since the airport’s passenger load has increased from 4,000 to about 13,000 over the last calendar year.

Howalt said that there are plans to secure more funds to create a new terminal facility, along with other infrastructural projects, due to the influx of passengers traveling in and out of Clovis.


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