Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois has secured a substantial amount of FAA funding thanks to a local business.
The Williamson County facility and others like it are required to transport at least 10-thousand passengers each year to be eligible for a million dollars in federal funding.
Veterans Airport manager Doug Kimmel says his facility was around 20 passengers short when Black Diamond Aviation reported 25 enplanements through its helicopter charters.
Kimmel says the one million dollars in FAA funding helps greatly with planned capital improvement projects.
"At any point and time we have a 5-year running order of projects that we have planned with FAA that need to be done at the airport for various improvements...construction on runways, taxiways, ramp areas, obstruction removal, lighting, signage replacement."
Kimmel says this is not the norm. He says it was just a down year for Cape Air enplanements.
"We're glad to see already this year Cape Air's traffic going back up substantially. As always, we look forward to accommodating the large charters for SIU and we're throwing in a couple of Honor Flights a year now too."
The huge majority of Veterans Airport passengers originate from Cape Air and regular charters from SIU Athletics.
Kimmel says if Veterans Airport had not reached the 10-thousand-passenger threshold, it would have received only 150-thousand dollars.