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Purdue Airport receives $1 million grant from federal stimulus package

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Airport will receive a $1.45 million Federal Aviation Administration grant under the U.S. economic stimulus package, airport director Betty Stansbury announced Wednesday (May 20).

Purdue University's airport runway.

Purdue University's airport runway.

The grant will be used to improve airport security and assist with wildlife management, Stansbury said.

“This grant will allow us to increase our fence height by 2 feet and to install a skirt along the bottom of the fence to eliminate access by burrowing animals,” Stansbury said. “Wildlife and aircraft don’t mix well. We try to create an environment around the airport where conflicts between birds, animals and aircraft are minimized. This enhances safety for people and protects wildlife.”

The funding, filtered through the FAA, comes from the $787 billion stimulus plan that President Barack Obama signed into law Feb. 17. The FAA received $1.1 billion in additional funding from the package. The funding provided to airports is to be used primarily for safety and capacity enhancements, Stansbury said.

A recommendation from the FAA’s Great Lakes Region regional office led to Purdue’s receiving the grant.

Purdue’s 527-acre airport includes two runways, a system of parallel taxiways, an apron area, and two passenger terminal buildings and hangars. The university’s aviation technology academic program also is housed there. In 2008 the airport had about 102,000 takeoffs and landings.

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