$2+ million will help Allen County Airport improvements

2 Million Will Help Allen County Airport Improvements

ALLEN COUNTY, Kan. – The Allen County Airport is going to be able to make some improvements thanks to a state grant.

The Kansas Department of Commerce for Infrastructure Improvements is giving the airport $2,905,095. The airport will use the money to increase the capacity of utilities at the airport. That includes water, electricity, broadband internet and roads.

Officials hope to improve the airport and add an industrial park surrounding it.

The County will provide a 25 percent match for the grant, totaling around $726,000.

News Release

Allen County recently received a major award from the Kansas Department of Commerce for infrastructure improvements at the Allen County Airport. This grant from the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) program will provide $2,905,095 for infrastructure buildout to support industrial development at the airport.

“The BASE program is vital to enhancing Kansas’ economic competitiveness,” Governor Laura Kelly said in an April 12 press release from the Kansas Office of the Governor. “These grants provide essential funding to our local communities, positioning them to succeed and be a place of continued economic growth.”

BASE grant funding will increase the capacity of utilities at the airport including water, sewer, electric, natural gas, broadband internet, and roads. The county will provide a 25% match for the award, totaling around $726,000. The airport, located at 1705 NW Minnesota Road between Iola and Humboldt, is a major asset to our community. Aviation brings $767,600 annually to the county, according to the KDOT Kansas Aviation Economic Impact Study, attracted by the airport’s 5,500-foot runway, hangar space, and competitive fuel prices.

The ultimate goals of these development activities are an improved airport facility and a shovel-ready industrial park on the more than 200 acres of greenfield sites surrounding the airport. Possibilities for the airport include a new flight museum, a restaurant, and new hangar space for existing and future aircraft. The county envisions the airport as a hub for future manufacturing businesses. Combined with other business retention and expansion programs, this industrial capacity and general aviation revenue will bring higher-paying jobs and economic resilience to our county.

This grant was awarded to the Allen County government, which owns and operates the airport. Thrive Allen County applied for the grant on the county’s behalf. Thrive offers grant writing services to local organizations and governments as part of its community development efforts. Thrive and the county, along with the cities of Iola and Humboldt, work together through the Allen County Economic Development partnership to pursue opportunities such as this one.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to build our county’s industrial capacity,” said Thrive Allen County Economic Development Director Jonathon Goering. “Infrastructure is key to unlocking the full potential of our economic ecosystem. As always, economic development is a marathon, not a sprint. This grant is one important milestone, and we are ready to keep working on behalf of our community. Hats off to the Allen County Commissioners for going after this opportunity, and thank you to everyone who made it possible.”