Cape Girardeau Regional Airport has received $600,000 in a new grant that will allow them to undertake a handful of new projects.
Airport Manager Bruce Loy says formerly, the airport had not qualified for a grant of this size due to a fewer number of passengers. They had received other, smaller grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), each amounting to around $150,000.
The smaller grant size barely impacted the costs the airport faces, says Loy, which causes them to go to the Department of Transportation for discretionary funds.
“It’s very difficult to take $150,000, have scheduled passenger services, be inspected every year by the FAA and have to abide by their regulations in order to keep passenger service, and only do it with a $150,000,” he says. “It’s essentially impossible.”
Provisions set by new legislation are allowing more benefits to “non-primary” airports - which carry fewer than 10,000 passengers annually - such as the Cape Airport. Initially, the FAA guaranteed a million dollars to qualifying airports with more than 10,000 annual passengers, but they created another level for non-primary airports.
“If you hit 8,000 passengers last year - which we did, a little over that - then you could see $600,000 annually,” says Loy.
Aside from grant money, they usually receive a large amount of funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation - a lot coming from the federal government, according to Loy.
With the money, the airport is looking at building a fence and possibly purchasing more land.
The airport will also be getting some help from sales made in the city of Cape Girardeau. He says the tax money that will be coming from the Capital Improvement Sales Tax approved by voters on Tuesday will also help with improvements, and it’s the first time the airport has had that sort of income in Loy’s 22 years as manager.