By MICHELLE CASADY
Improvements will be coming to Easterwood Airport thanks to a federal grant worth nearly $1.4 million.
"Every time we get a grant, I let out a sigh of relief," said John Happ, the Texas A&M-owned airport's director of aviation. "You just never know. That's federal grant money, and with the way the economy is, anyone applying for a grant holds their breath until they know they have that money in hand."
The funding comes through the Federal Aviation Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Happ said the money would be put to good use and would keep the facility on track to accomplish goals outlined in a master plan.
Some of the money will be used to rehabilitate the general aviation ramp.
"It was built in 1940, and it's starting to deteriorate," Happ said. "It desperately needs to be replaced."
The money also will be used to complete construction of the east side apron and to build an underground drainage system, which will increase storm water drainage capacity and eliminate a wildlife attractant.
"In addition, quality transportation services are important for boosting local economic growth," U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said in a news release announcing the funding. "I commend the area leaders who worked to secure this funding."