U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) announced Thursday that Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah, Ky. will receive a second installment of $10 million to construct a new airport terminal.
The funding is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), and will build upon an initial $10 million secured last year for the airport. McConnell and Comer said they contacted the FAA to advocate for the funding.
“As the only congressional leader not from New York or California, I am fully aware of the importance of local hubs like the Barkley Regional Airport, which brings visitors and businesses from all over the world to Paducah,” McConnell said. “The Commonwealth’s economic development hinges on our ability to improve and maintain the vital supply chains that run through Kentucky and keep America on the move.”
Sandra Wilson, president of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, said the funding requires a matching grant, which the community is working to build. The funding request has been one of the Paducah Chamber’s top federal priorities, she said.
The project is expected to modernize the 68 year old airport, and open Western Kentucky up to the rest of the country, Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear said. Site preparation will finish up by spring 2022, with terminal building started this fall and completed in winter 2022. The terminal is scheduled to be opened in spring 2023.
“This announcement is proof that the economic and infrastructure needs of West Kentucky are at the forefront of conversations in Washington,” Comer said. “This tremendous federal investment in Barkley Regional Airport is critical for transportation and job creation in West Kentucky, and further solidifies Paducah as an important economic driver in middle America.”