Published: 1:00 pm, Thu. Jun. 16th, 2016Updated: 5:09 pm
U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., announced Wednesday afternoon that $5,290,000 in grants will be distributed to the Artesia Municipal Airport and Roswell International Air Center to support air transportation infrastructure projects.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded the grants in order to fund airport rehabilitation at the two facilities.
The Artesia Municipal Airport will receive $3,150,000 and the Roswell air center $2,140,000 to update and maintain existing runways. These airports expand transportation options that help New Mexicans connect to communities throughout the state and across the country, as well as aid necessary travel to and from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
“These grants to repair and maintain the runways at the airports in Artesia and Roswell will help ensure we have the up-to-date transportation infrastructure needed to facilitate access to federal facilities and support the growth of commerce and tourism in Southeast New Mexico,” said Udall. “The region is already seeing the economic benefits of the new flights between Roswell and Phoenix, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for funding to strengthen our state’s air transportation infrastructure to make travel easier and safer for New Mexicans and visitors.”
In March, American Airlines began conducting commercial nonstop flights from Roswell to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and back. The flights have helped to boost the regional economy by expanding transportation options for businesses and visitors alike.
“These investments will update two of New Mexico’s airports and keep our state a prime destination for business and tourism,” said Heinrich. “The airports in Artesia and Roswell also play a critical role in serving our federal facilities such as the FLETC, the ILEA and the WIPP. Roswell’s direct flights to Phoenix and Dallas support long-term economic growth and job creation, and will increase opportunities for the entire region.”
Artesia’s funding will provide for the reconstruction of 3,300 feet of existing Runway 12/30 pavement and will provide funding for the final phase of a three-phase project. Roswell’s will fund the final phase of the rehabilitation of 3,200 feet of Runway 3/21 and will help maintain and repair the pavement as well as remove foreign object debris.