According to the Department of Transportation's announcement, this grant:
— Funds the construction of a 34,000 square yard south apron to provide aircraft parking for users of the airport.
— Funds the second phase, which consist of design, site preparation and earthwork.
— Replaces fourteen fire proximity suits to meet aircraft rescue and firefighting requirements
— Acquires replacement snow removal equipment to keep the airport serviceable during snow periods and aid in the efficiency and safety of operations.
— Conducts an environmental study to evaluate any potential environmental impacts related to the land easements or acquisitions, and obstruction clearing for the runway approaches.
— Repairs Runway 5 to maintain the structural integrity of the pavement and to minimize foreign object debris.
— Repairs the intersecting Taxiways A and W needed to maintain the structural integrity of their pavements and to minimize foreign object debris.
"Updated and functional infrastructure is extremely important when recruiting businesses to East Tennessee, and I'm glad Executive Director (Patrick) Wilson has prioritized improvements to the airport,” U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-1st) said in a news release. “These upgrades will improve safety, give travelers a better experience and help with on-time arrivals and departures.
“There's no better place to live and work than East Tennessee, and these improvements will undoubtedly help with continued economic development and investment in the Tri-Cities."