TUSCALOOSA AIRPORT WORKING TO EXPAND AIR SERVICE

Tuscaloosa Airport

By WVUA 23 Reporter Kayla Smith

Tuscaloosa is set to receive a $750,000 grant to improve local air service.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has chosen Tuscaloosa as one of 18 cities to receive this grant.

Jeff Powell, the airport manager at Tuscaloosa National, says that he believes expanding air service in Tuscaloosa will have a positive impact on the city.

“The ability to bring people to and from a lot easier into Tuscaloosa allows a lot more of the organizations that are in our community to achieve their future growth goals,” Powell said.

The city hopes to attract commercial airlines and eventually offer regular domestic flights out of the Tuscaloosa National Airport.

According to Powell, the project’s success is reliant on support from the community.

“There’s no clear process to have air service, but I think the differences between air services for communities that have it and those that don’t is how aggressive and how collective the community is together in part with the airport,” Powell said.

The grant will be used to maintain and improve facilities at the airport.

“But also know it’s not going to happen tomorrow,” Powell said. “We’re probably going to focus on the construction side and at the other end of that project we’ll start looking at dates to try to push for air service coming back.”

The airport is prepared to begin a major runway reconstruction project in 2021.

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