The Bruce Brothers Regional Airport in Huntsville has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to rebuild its existing taxiway.

The funding, which was announced earlier this week, comes through a block grant from the Texas Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Huntsville city manager Aron Kulhavy said that the current taxiway is in a state of disrepair. Officials plan to dig it up, recycle the base and flip it on its axis. Plans also call for an additional 240 feet of separation on the runway.

The reconstruction is the first of a three phase project, which will also include relocating the weather tower in preparation for future development. The city will be responsible for funding 10% of the projects.

“We are blessed to have a good facility out there, and hope to continue maintaining what we have while we develop the plans to expand in the future,” Kulhavy said.

City officials are currently in the process of developing a master plan for the airport, which would call for an extension of the current runway or a new runway.

Currently the versatile facility located in the Piney Woods of east Texas serves as many as 20,000 aircraft operations annually with a single 5,000 foot runway. The range of aircraft spans from general aviation to military operations, single/multi engine aircraft, maintenance and avionics repair, jets and even helicopters.

With the master plan, officials are looking at expanding the runway to 6,500 or 7,000 feet, which would allow the airport to handle everything from large business jets to small commercial airliners.

This year, TxDOT expects to provide approximately $60 million in funding for planning, constructing and maintaining community airports. Approximately 275 community airports in Texas are eligible for funding.

Arrivals and departures from community airports account for more than three million flight hours per year and provide aircraft facilities for agricultural, medical, business and commuter use.

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