Desoto County News

Olive Branch Airport to receive grants for improvements

Some good news for the Olive Branch/Taylor Field Airport came Friday, April 21, with the announcement of two grant awards from the Federal Aviation Administration.  

The airport, one of the busiest in the state of Mississippi, will be receiving a grant from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and another from the newer Airport Improvement Grant (AIG) program. 

U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith Friday made a joint announcement, stating that almost $35.2 million in grants to Mississippi airports had been awarded.  

The award for the Olive Branch airport under the AIP programs is for over $2.15 million to reconstruct runway and taxiway lighting, and for airfield guidance signs.  

The AIG grant to Olive Branch is for a total of $587,000 and will be used for rehabilitating about 12,000 square yards of the existing T-Hangar apron.  

Olive Branch Mayor Ken Adams said he and the Board of Aldermen appreciated the grant awards and the work done by Wicker and Hyde-Smith to get the money, adding that First District Rep. Trent Kelly was also involved in it on the House of Representatives side.   

“They understand the importance of and positive economic impact the City of Olive Branch Airport provides North Mississippi,” Adams said. “Olive Branch Airport recorded 75,000 flight activities in 2022. Olive Branch will continue to work aggressively to further develop the airport to best serve residents, corporations that hangar aircraft at the airport and the three flight schools domiciled at the airport daily training our future military and commercial aviation professionals”.

Several of the AIG grants are designed to complement AIP grants.

“These grants are direct investments in safety and economic development in Mississippi,” Wicker said.  “I have been a strong supporter of infrastructure, especially for airports, because they are a critical component of our economy.  This funding will help airports across our state make the improvements they need to keep contributing and protect the flying public.”

Hyde-Smith said the importance of local airports to vitality and growth of communities cannot be overstated.  

“These FAA awards will support important projects and upgrades to improve safety and efficiency at airports across Mississippi,” said Hyde-Smith, ranking member on the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

The entire news release announcing the grant awards to Mississippi is found here.  

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