Local airport receives improvement grant

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is planning environmental mitigation projects thanks to an Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant.

The grant, worth $129,308, was awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of an ongoing project to improve 264 airports across the country.

Airports can receive a certain amount of AIP entitlement funding each year based on activity levels and project needs. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.

Executive Director of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, Parker McClellan, says the money awarded will be used for preservation and restoration of a 9,600-acre wildlife savanna situated just south of the airport.

“We’ll be able to go through and do construction projects that include creating water crossings and eliminating dams to allow water flow, replacing long leaf pines, and getting rid of invasive species.” McClellan said.

McClellan estimates they’ll keep working on the project for many years to come.

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