Faa Visit Could Mean Millions For Airport

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The Federal Aviation Administration will be making a visit to Payson Monday, which may translate into more than $5 million in grant money for the airport.

An FAA runway safety action team will inspect the Payson Municipal Airport and release its findings in an open meeting in the town council chambers 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The team's inspection results could mean higher priority for grants from the FAA, Airport Manager Ted Anderson said.

"They will visit our airport, essentially look over everything under their responsibility, and they will come up with recommendations," Anderson said. "Best thing that happens with those is that it carries a lot of weight with the FAA office that gives grants to airports."

Over the next three years, the airport could receive more than $5 million in grants from the FAA. The money would be used to relocate Airport Road, expand a ramp and add a helicopter-landing site, Anderson said.

Currently he has to place steel plates on the landing area so the weight of a helicopter doesn't dig into the asphalt. The new area would be made of concrete, which can withstand the weight better.

"We're really glad that they're able to come and see what we have at our airport," Anderson said. "Any recommendations they have would be welcome."

Payson's airport is one of the first smaller airports to receive this kind of attention from the FAA team, which usually inspects larger airports, Anderson said.

Mayor Barbara Brewer invited the team to Payson at an Arizona Airport Association seminar. Brewer said anyone is welcome to come to the meeting to ask questions.

"We want what's best for the community," she said. "We want the airport to be as safe and independent as possible."

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