Manhattan Regional Airport will soon receive a $350,000 federal grant to help with its runway reconstruction project.
The U.S. Department of Transportation notified officials earlier this week about the grant.
“Local airports help bring economic opportunities and critical resources to communities across Kansas,” U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said in a statement Monday. “This grant is an investment into Manhattan Regional Airport to make certain the airport can continue to provide safe and efficient travel for Kansans, as well as the local defense community stationed at Fort Riley.”
City officials want to create a 150-foot wide runway to better accommodate larger aircraft takeoffs for K-State and Fort Riley. The project could cost between $39.2 million and $48.1 million, depending on whether they opt for a “rubblization” technique or complete reconstruction and whether they decide construction phases will be necessary.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved funding 90% of the project for a 100-foot width even though the airport already has a 150-foot-wide runway, and the rest will come from airport revenue resources.
Airport Director Jesse Romo said the city has been supportive of maintaining the current dimensions, and administrators are actively searching for other sources to help pay for the portion won’t be covered by FAA funding. He said this particular grant will address the impacts construction will have on navigational aids.
Officials completed a planning grant last year, which the FAA funded at 90%. They also started a design grant, which also typically would be funded at 90%, Romo said, but two COVID-relief acts passed by Congress made that grant funded at 100% of eligible costs.
“Once we’re complete with design, we’ll get ready to bid, which will likely occur sometime next year,” Romo said. “We don’t expect to have construction occur until ... 2023.”
The airport also recently received a $1.1 million federal grant to help with COVID-19 related costs such as janitorial services, cleaning and sanitation and operational expenses.