At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., announced the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) was sending money to help the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).
Buchanan said on Friday the FAA was sending $3.6 million to SRQ for a drainage and water management system improvement project. The Southwest Florida Republican had called on acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell to approve the SRQ’s request for federal funds.
“Today’s announcement is great news for SRQ,” Buchanan said. “Every year, SRQ handles between one to two million passengers. I am glad to have helped secure this vital funding for our community.”
“The funds will help improve airfield drainage and reduction in wildlife hazards. It will permit an additional 80 plus acres of taxiways, buildings/hangars, aprons, parking and access road improvements. The reduction in storm water ponds, and the deepening and steepening of the pond and side slopes will also eliminate or reduce wildlife that is currently attracted to the storm water ponds,” the congressman’s office noted. “SRQ had completed a Master Drainage Plan Update (MDP) to ensure compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Florida Department of Transportation regulations. The plan evaluated the current drainage system at SRQ and modelled the airport’s future drainage based upon planned expansion. The MDP also incorporated results from the recent Wildlife Hazard Assessment into the proposed drainage system to eliminate or reduce the known ‘hot spots’ for wildlife, which pose dangers to both aircraft and wildlife alike.
“An update found that the existing airport water management system was essentially at capacity. In addition, most of the current system has design elements that are not consistent with the United States Department of Agriculture/FAA guidance on minimizing the attraction of hazardous wildlife. The proposed project will correct those deficiencies,” Buchanan’s office added.
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