Airports to receive funds for improvements

LONGMONT – Airports in Broomfield, Erie and Longmont are expected to receive about $21 million in state and federal funding this year to make improvements, according to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office.

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield is to receive more than $19 million in federal funds to expand a runway, according to the Aviation Discretionary Grant program list from the governor’s office. The money also will go to build a related taxiway run-up area. Colorado Highway 128 is being reconfigured to make way for the runway.

Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont will receive $400,000 in state funds to build a better perimeter fence. Erie Municipal Airport in Erie will receive about $600,000 in state and federal funds to add runway lighting.

State grants come from the Aviation Discretionary Grant program, with funds being generated from a state tax on airplane fuel. The governor’s office handed out 44 grants across the state totaling $20.6 million for 2013.

The fuel tax went into effect in 1991 after state legislators approved it. Since then, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics has reimbursed 65 percent of the taxes to airports. The remaining 35 percent of the revenue goes to maintenance, capital equipment and development at Colorado’s 79 public-use airports.

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