While Foley is wrapping up one project at the airport funded by an FAA grant, the council also gave the go ahead to apply for another one for more work at the facility.
“The pre-application to the FAA/ALDOT that was just approved by Council at the Sept. 6 meeting was for the construction of taxi lanes and a new eight-unit T-Hangar building,” Airport Manager Rachel Keith said. “The grant process begins with the pre-application and if the FAA/ALDOT approves it, we design and bid the project. Once that is complete, an application would be submitted with a more accurate cost estimate for FAA/ALDOT’s review and determination.”
That grant would include two projects, the construction of access taxiways expected to cost $401,920 and another for $353,333 to add an eight-unit hangar to give the airport a total of 48 units. The city’s match would be 5 percent with the Alabama Department of Transportation also contributing that much. Keith said the city would likely put the project out for bid in the spring but would not hear if the application is granted until late summer of 2023.
“Typically, the state will pay a 5 percent match and the city has a match of 5 percent,” Keith said.
The current $574,000 project was to do rehab on the airport’s runways and taxiways. A project ongoing at the same time was to rebuild 24 hangar units destroyed in Hurricane Sally.
“The runway opened back up (Sept. 21),” Keith said. “However, they’re still doing work on the taxiway so the pilots will have to back taxi on the runway when taking off or landing for a few days. The seal coat was completed yesterday and the only thing remaining is the taxiway markings which are expected to be completed on Monday (Sept. 26).”
The current grant was 100 percent funded by the FAA because the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, 2020, covered the match for the city and state.
On the destroyed hangars, the majority of that cost was covered by the city’s insurance but some site work needed for the new structures wasn’t covered by insurance. There are 16 newer units on the south apron and the other 24 units on the north apron were the oldest and the first ones built at the airport.
“There were some aspects of the project that weren’t covered by insurance,” Keith said. “like asphalt for instance. We had to do some rework of the asphalt around the new hangars and that’s not a covered item so the City did have some out-of-pocket expense. The city’s expense for the asphalt and other items not covered during the demolition and construction of the T-Hangars was approximately $160,000.”