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Mayagüez airport lands $1.4M from FEMA for repairs

The Eugenio María de Hostos Airport in Mayagüez has landed a $1.4 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for exterior and interior repair work for damage caused by Hurricane María.

Puerto Rico Ports Authority Executive Director Joel Pizá confirmed that 90% of the funding, or $1.3 million, comes from the agency’s Public Assistance program.

The remaining 10 percent, equivalent to $143,406.77, comes from federal funds under the CDBG-DR Non-Federal Match program, which covers the 10% non-federal contribution required under the FEMA Public Assistance program, he said.

“These $1.4 million in funds from the FEMA Public Assistance program allows us to continue repair work and improvements to structures of the Mayagüez Airport, as part of our firm commitment to the recovery process after the passage of Hurricane María. The effective date of this obligation was July 20, 2022,” said Pizá.

He said facility’s exterior damages, which include windows and roof, will be addressed. Interior damage from wind-driven rain caused intrusion of ceramic tile, acoustical ceiling tiles, and damage to vinyl baseboards, among other issues.

“These works are added to those done with an $8 million investment to maintain the operation of the only commercial airport in the western area of ​​the island, contributing to the economic development of the region,” he said.

Included in the work is the rehabilitation projects for runway 9-27 and its connectors stand out, the installation of a modern remote lighting system on the runway, which can be turned on by the pilots from the planes before landing, and the recent installation of an emergency generator that will serve the passenger terminal, said Pizá.

For the first time, the Mayagüez Airport has an operator that offers Fixed Base Operation (FBO) and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services to aircraft, resulting from a contract granted at the beginning of this year, to boost commercial aviation in that region, he said.

Meanwhile, Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) Executive Director Manuel Laboy recognized the Ports Authority’s “diligence in developing the reconstruction projects with FEMA funds.”

“This permanent work is added to others that Ports successfully leads. Working proactively, this newly obligated project is in its design phase and will soon begin the construction bid stage,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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