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Midlothian airport gets funds for improvements

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MIDLOTHIAN - Funding for planned improvements to the Mid-Way Regional Airport are on the way following last Thursday's approval by the Texas Transportation Commission of $100,000 for plans to upgrade the airport's facilities.

The grant was part of a larger funding package that awarded $2.6 million for eight community airports in Texas.

'Community airports play a crucial role by providing air transportation access to all areas of our state,' said Dave Fulton, aviation director for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). 'It's extremely important to continue to improve and maintain these airports, as they are a vital element to the state's overall transportation system and the community's economic development efforts.'

The funds will be spend on developing a master plan for the airport's future development, such as the expansion or improvement of runways and taxiways, hangars, terminal building and other airport facilities. An airport master plan will help determine if additional land is necessary to accommodate future improvements.

Ten percent of the project's costs will be picked up by the cities of Midlothian and Waxahachie. The remainder will be covered through TxDOT's Aviation Facilities Grant Program.

'I am so pleased Mid-Way Regional Airport is going to benefit from TxDOT's Aviation Facilities Grant,' said State Representative Jim Pitts. 'This facility is very important to our area, and these funds will be utilized to expand its usage and its capabilities. The growth Ellis County is experiencing makes this airport even more necessary.'

Annually, the block grant program awards approximately $45 million in federal and state funds for general aviation airport improvements.

Under recent federal legislation, funds for general aviation airports in Texas have increased. Over the next three years, Texas could receive more than $100 million for improvements at theses airports.

In Texas, there are approximately 275 general aviation airports and more than 46,000 licensed pilots.

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