An airplane departs Tyler Pounds Regional Airport carrying on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

The federal government announced Tuesday that the city of Tyler’s airport would receive a nearly $900,000 grant for updating its master plan.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Tyler’s grant in Dallas. She said eight Texas airports would share more than $57.1 million in grants.

“This significant investment at eight Texas airports will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation,” Chao said in a news release.

The money comes through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which primarily helps public agencies in the planning and development of airports. The East Texas Regional Airport in Longview will receive just under $1.5 million through the same grant package.

Nationwide, the federal government will award $495 million in airport infrastructure grants to 327 airports in 49 states, according to a news release on the U.S. Department of Transportation website.

“Access to safe and efficient infrastructure is critical as so many Texans travel for work, leisure, and visiting loved ones,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a news release. “I proudly supported this funding in the Senate, and I thank President Trump and Secretary Chao for supporting the safety of Texans traveling to and from East Texas.”

The Tyler City Council will vote on whether to accept the grant at a meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Tyler City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave.

A memo to the City Council from City Manager Ed Broussard said the cost of updating the master plan would be $950,000. The FAA grant would pay for $855,000, and the city would pay the remaining $95,000, the memo said.

“With the reopening and improvements of runway 4-22, the airport has and will continue to see a different mix of aircraft using the airport,” the memo said. “New economic development opportunities are also very likely at the airport.

“In order to keep the airport maintained properly and utilize the facility to fulfill as many aviation needs as possible, proper planning should be done soon,” the memo said. “Planning can include expansion planning, land use plans and air service development.

“Additionally the airport has been approved by Federal Aviation Administration to begin design to improve the security fencing around the airport,” the memo said.

“The goal is to centralize and modernize all access control of the automated gates around the airport. Surveillance improvements will be considered as well.”

A full copy of the Tyler City Council agenda is available at TylerPaper.com.

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

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