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Grant was delayed by FAA shutdown

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today that $10 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been released for runway construction at Boire Field at the Nashua Municipal Airport. The project, which ensures the runway meets current safety standards, had been threatened by the recent FAA shutdown.

“I am pleased the Administration has released these funds so that this important project, and the crucial safety upgrades associated with it, can go forward and people can get back to work,” Shaheen said. “The risk posed to this project by the FAA shutdown was unnecessary and reinforces the need for a long-term reauthorization of the agency.”

“We are pleased to know we will get this money, which will allow us to meet FAA safety standards. Still, while the money is enough for the airport to make significant progress on the project, we do need to pass the FAA reauthorization in order to finish the project,” said Roy Rankin, Jr. the airport manager.

The $10,040,750.00  grant will be used to reconstruct, extend, and relocate the runway. The relocation will bring the airport into compliance with current safety standards, and will move the runway farther away from the parallel taxiway, allowing the airport to work more efficiently with larger aircraft. FAA regulations say the useful lifespan of an asphalt runway is 25 years, and Boire Field’s current runway is 24 years old.   The runway extension means jets will now be able to take off from the airport with enough fuel for transatlantic flights.

Today’s announcement means the funds are officially obligated, allowing paving to begin next spring.

In August, Senator Shaheen stood alongside city officials at the Nashua Municipal Airport to urge Congress to reach an agreement on a long-term authorization for the FAA. Airport officials at the time highlighted their concern that the runway construction project was jeopardized by the shutdown and by repeated reliance on short-term authorizations. The FAA has been relying on short-term budget extensions since 2007, hampering its ability to invest in long-term projects and causing uncertainty for workers. The current short-term extension expires September 16. In Nashua, the shutdown left 42 employees furloughed without pay, and several projects were placed on hold, including asbestos abatement, building upgrades, and mechanical system work.