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Las Cruces International Airport Seeks Grant Funding For Terminal Improvements

City of Las Cruces

The city of Las Cruces is working to secure millions in grant funding through the Federal Aviation Administration for improvements to the Las Cruces International Airport.

A unanimous vote by the Las Cruces City Council Monday authorized city staff to apply for up to $11.875 million in funding to better accommodate passenger travel. City Grants Administrator Amy Johnson Bassford says the grant funding is necessary to further develop a passenger terminal for the airport.

“The improvements are intended to accommodate travelers for both intra and interstate passenger service as well as the charter and private aircraft service we currently have,” Johnson Bassford said. “This will also allow for the growth of ancillary services at the terminal and expected to provide services to the traveling public for the next 15 to 20 years.”

Funding will specifically go toward the construction of a TSA control building as well as renovations to current buildings for passenger travel. The council also approved a cash match of 5%, a requirement of the grant, which Johnson Bassford says will come in part from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

“That match source is from the 2022 capital outlay that was provided in the last legislative session, as well as a share from New Mexico Department of Transportation Aviation Division,” Johnson Bassford said. "And traditionally, we do share match for FAA grants with NMDOT.”

Public passenger travel at the airport is expected to be offered to New Mexico cities like Albuquerque starting later this year. Councilor Yvonne Flores says she would like to see that service expanded to neighboring states, with flights to cities like Phoenix and Dallas, as soon as possible.

“If we have a windfall from the legislature between now and whenever we'll be able to have interstate sometime next year, maybe if we're lucky,” Flores said. “But we're definitely going to have intrastate sometime this year already. So, all of that is in the making.”

Notice of the awarded funding will be given in June of this year. Mayor Ken Miyagishima voiced his full support for the renovation.

“I just have to say it looks really cool,” Miyagishima said. “That's amazing. Hopefully, we get this, and off we go—literally.”

While Johnson Bassford told councilors the allocation cannot be guaranteed, she did note that her team has worked to ensure the funding is secured.

“We are ready to get under contract in federal fiscal year 2022,” Johnson Bassford said. “And that was very important to the FAA when they did their webinars that we are able to get under contract by the end of this federal fiscal year. So, we feel that that's a very strong point in our favor.”

Madison Staten was a Multimedia Reporter for KRWG Public Media from 2020-2022.
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