New grants coming to airports across the Black Hills

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 5:19 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Federal Aviation Administration awarded grants to airports across the U-S. The funds are designed to improve infrastructure, safety, or to ‘strengthen growth in local communities.’

$1.2 billion, that’s how much the FAA is awarding to more than four hundred airports across the nation.

With more than 8 South Dakota airports making the list., 3 of them in the Black Hills.

FAA listing of airports in South Dakota receiving grants.
FAA listing of airports in South Dakota receiving grants.(Connor Matteson)

“The airport is the front door to Spearfish, it is a big part of our economy, it’s a focal point for anyone who flies in,” says Public Works Director for the City of Spearfish Dustin Lee.

With the $1.7 million they’ll be receiving, airport officials at Clyde Ice Field will build a fence around the airport.

“When you have this type of environment with wildlife that can freely run across your runway, you have to make sure you’re taking precautions,” says Lee.

The Spearfish airport is the busiest non-commercial field in South Dakota, so a fence will help keep flights safe.

The Belle Fourche Municipal Airport is also on the list, Airport Manager JD Deranleau says they’re getting $377,663 for updates.

“We recently contracted an engineering company to take a look at our master plan, it’s the layout for the airport in Belle Fourche. Just to kind of get some strategic planning, see what our strengths and weaknesses are, see how the airport is meeting the needs of the local area, and in what ways we can improve,” says Deranleau.

Deranleau hopes the upgrade will bring more businesses into the area.

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