Continued renovations and improvements at Tucumcari Municipal Airport will help the area's economic appeal, according to city officials.
Recent Federal Aviation Administration grants for $307,800 will be used to overlay the airport's 7,100-foot runway and make any additional repairs, said B.J. Molinas, city grant administrator.
Molinas said the total project cost of the runway work is $342,000, the city's and state match for this project is $17,100.
This will be the second round of improvements at the airport this year. In May, a $561,617 renovation was completed on the terminal building.
Molinas said the renovation included upgrading of windows, installation of a new heating and cooling system and renovated bathrooms.
"For a town the size of Tucumcari, having an airport of this caliber is a huge benefit to economic development," said Patrick Vanderpool, executive director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp.
Vanderpool said the airport has already aided and will continue to aid as development at Ute Lake continues. He said many of the homeowners are and will be using the airport to travel back and forth to their homes.
Vanderpool said the airport is also attractive to those companies looking to have air travel as a benefit. He said the airport's proximity to Interstate 40 also makes it appealing to potential business.
Vanderpool said the GTEDC will be concentrate on promoting the airport more than it has been in the past. He said the airport's location and facilities make it a gem to potential businesses and travelers.
Vanderpool said the GTEDC has been in talks with three companies looking to take advantage of the 370 acres in the southeast corner of the airport's property earmarked for aviation-related industry.