Wichita airport receives grant for new construction

The city of Wichita issued the following news release:

Plans for a new terminal building at Wichita's Mid Continent Airport got another boost from the U.S. Department of Transportation Thursday with the announcement of a $4.8 million discretionary grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The funds will be used for construction of the second phase of the aircraft parking ramp and is a key component of the overall $150 million project slated for completion in 2012. Final engineering and architectural design of the project is currently being completed, and construction of the terminal building could start as early as next summer, according to Victor White, City of Wichita Director of Airports.

The process was aided by a joint letter of support signed by U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, along with 4th District Congressman Todd Tiahrt, First District Congressman Jerry Moran and 2nd District Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.

"This next phase of grant funding is great news for the Wichita area, and for the entire state of Kansas," Brownback said. "The Wichita Mid-Continent Airport over the next several years is undergoing an expansion process that will greatly benefit travelers across the state."

Congressman Tiahrt echoed the praise for the new project.

"Mid-Continent Airport's new passenger terminal will help make Kansans and visitors feel more comfortable and welcome when traveling to Wichita," Tiahrt said. "The new terminal will help increase tourism and business opportunities for our community. I strongly support federal funding for this project that will benefit travelers and the general aviation community by providing expanded space."

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts complemented the City of Wichita on its progress towards a new terminal.

"Congratulations to the City of Wichita for securing this award and for their excellent administration of this project," Roberts said. "Increased efficiency and effectiveness at Mid Continent benefits us all and is a great investment to the Wichita and state economy."

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer thanked the delegation for its support of the Wichita airport project.

"This is another great example of the productive partnerships between local and federal governments," Mayor Brewer said. "We are deeply thankful for the efforts of our Congressional delegation and recognize the vital role they play in improving the quality of life in our community."

The grant application from the City of Wichita survived a competitive process within the U.S. Department of Transportation, White said. The airport has received more than $20 million in grant funds from the FAA so far this year for the project.

The $150 million cost of the new terminal will be paid with a combination of federal aviation trust fund user fees from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Transportation Security Administration, airport users fees, airline rentals and other airport revenues. No local tax dollars or federal general taxpayer funds will be used on the project, White said.