The Iowa Transportation Commission approved a list of requests for money from the state’s airports Tuesday. Michelle McEnany, director of the D.O.T. Office of Public Transit, says the requests are for the 2008 fiscal year. McEnany says Iowa is a channeling state, so airports have to ask the Iowa D.O.T.for the money, the state prioritizes the projects and then sends the recommendation to the FAA.
McEnany says the airports have requested some 54-million dollars in projects — the state was awarded 25-million dollars in the last fiscal year. Some airports are already guaranteed money. She says sixty-nine airports are entitled to 650-thousand dollars each year that they can use or bankroll for projects. McEnany says the entitlements will take 11-point-six million dollars, then there are other projects.
McEnany says the Ankeny Regional Airport, for example, needs money to relocate a street and will need 850-thousand dollars. The Clinton airport is looking to construct a taxiway and needs one-point-six million dollars. While the commission has prioritized the requests for money, McCenany says it’s anybody’s guess when the check will be in the mail.
McEnany says Congress hasn’t even approved the money for fiscal 2007, and a whole new reauthorization bill is needed for 2008, so it will be until next fall until anything is done. The Ankeny and Clinton projects are among those given "high priority" for funding by the state commission. Others include: a taxiway for the Carroll airport; an automated weather system for the Forest City airport; taxiway construction for the Harlan airport; safety improvements to the Ottumwa airport, taxiway construction for the Oskaloosa airport, taxiway construction for the Red Oak airport; and runway reconstruction for the Washington airport. For more information, check the D-O-T’s website at: www:dot.iowa.gov.