Durbin, Enyart Announce $3.2 MIllion in Federal Funding For New Terminal at Marion's Williamson County Regional Airport
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – A new federally-funded terminal at Williamson County Regional Airport will ensure that residents of Southern Illinois continue to have access to safe, reliable air service, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Bill Enyart (D-IL) said today. Durbin and Enyart announced that the Williamson County Regional Airport (MWA) in Marion, Illinois has received $3,262,308 in funding to construct a new terminal building through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program.
“Having access to reliable air service is essential to growing businesses that create jobs in Illinois,” said Durbin. “In addition to supporting good-paying, local construction jobs as the new terminal is built, this project is a prime example of how federal dollars can be used to fill critical gaps in essential infrastructure.”
“The Williamson County Airport is a gateway to the Midwest for all of us in Southern Illinois,” said Enyart. “To have access to the St. Louis airport in a matter of minutes is the key to growing not only business and industry, but also tourism. This grant for a new terminal building will be put to good use as we continue to grow the great transportation hub of Marion.”
In July, Durbin submitted a letter in support of MWA’s application for federal Airport Improvement Program grant funding. A copy of Durbin’s letter to the FAA is available here.
Williamson County Regional Airport connects southern Illinois to St. Louis with eight daily flights. The current terminal is more than 40-years-old and is unable to accommodate the airport’s growing demand. The new terminal is expected to be similar in size to the current one, and would utilize the airport’s existing infrastructure while also allowing for future expansion. Since 2004, MWA has received more than $7 million in funding through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program.
Durbin has also fought to protect the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which helps communities in rural areas keep the commercial air service they have now and attract new service in the future. In 2012, Durbin worked to pass legislation that ensured that Illinois communities including Marion remained a part of the EAS program. While the original House bill eliminated the EAS program, the Senate bill maintained the program with some cost saving reforms. The final bill fully funds essential air service and puts in place important reforms to ensure communities can retain quality air service to rural communities.
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