$11.3 million grant for Monett Regional Airport improvements

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WASHINGTON (Press Release) – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Representative Billy Long (Mo.) announced that the City of Monett will be receiving an $11.3 million federal grant for safety improvements to Monett Regional Airport. The improvements consist of paving the way for a new longer runway; extending and converting the existing runway to a full-length taxiway; and making additional safety improvements to accommodate larger aircraft and increased activity at the airport.

“The Monett Regional Airport has a significant, positive impact on the local economy,” said Blunt. “The stronger and safer our state’s transportation infrastructure is, the stronger the opportunity for continued growth and new jobs. This grant funding is great news for the airport and all of the businesses and residents in the area who rely on it. I’m glad Congressman Long and I could work together on this project, and I commend Mayor Brownsberger and all of the local stakeholders who made this application successful.”

“This multi-million dollar grant gives Monett Regional Airport the funding it needs to make critical safety improvements,” said Long. “The runway extensions will promote future economic growth for Monett and the entire 7th Congressional District. I am proud to have worked with Senator Blunt to secure this grant and look forward to its positive and wide-reaching impact.”

“The grant is the culmination of years of planning that documented the need for this expansion and the value of the airport to Monett and the bi-county region,” said Monett Mayor Mike Brownsberger. “The new, extended runway and other safety improvements are vitally important to our future economic growth. The support we received from our congressional delegation and specifically, Representative Long and Senator Blunt, was critical because they understood the positive impact it would have for Southwest Missouri.”

The initial phase of construction includes earthwork and grading of the new runway with the paving phase to follow. The City Council accepted the grant and approved a funding agreement at the August 20th Council meeting, with construction scheduled to begin this fall.

According to an economic impact study conducted for the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Monett Regional Airport generates 82 full-time equivalent jobs with a $4.2 million payroll and annually contributes approximately $13.1 million to Missouri’s economy. The airport serves several major corporations that have a presence in the Monett area, supports emergency medical transport and law enforcement operations, supports training missions by the National Guard and U.S. military, and provides flight training for student pilots and maintenance operations performed by certified fixed-base operators.

“This is a wonderful achievement for our city, region, and all patrons of the airport,” said Brian Hunter, Vice President of Travel for Jack Henry & Associates. “These improvements will make all operations safer, more capable and efficient. With a longer runway, Monett operators will no longer be forced to reduce fuel loads and range, effectively allowing for businesses to operate bigger aircraft, and reach many international destinations nonstop. All of this will allow greater safety margins, and more fuel to be purchased locally. This additional capability will attract users and businesses to our city for decades to come. I can’t thank the City Council enough for their leadership to improve the airport.”