The Owensboro-Daviess County Airport is receiving a boost from the more than $1 million in federal grant funding made available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

According to a Monday statement from the office of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the airport will receive $1,010,310, “to continue operations and keep travelers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Of the airports’ total award, $3,987 was provided to support third-party vendors including car rentals, parking operations, and concessions.

“That funding is going to be used to support the local economy and help maintain vital air service for Owensboro and the surrounding region,” Tristan Durbin, airport director, said Monday.

The Messenger-Inquirer reported in mid-March that the airport board voted unanimously to accept the federal grant funding during its meeting.

Durbin said the funding will be put to use on capital improvement projects, such as roof repairs and addressing drainage issues.

The board is currently reviewing documents to see exactly what the funding can and cannot be spent on as well as the timeframe that it will have to allocate and spend the money, he said.

“Hardworking Kentuckians at Owensboro’s airport have faced serious challenges over the last year,” McConnell said in the statement. “Through five historic and bipartisan rescue packages in 2020, I led the Senate to deliver the critical resources to help them face these hurdles and continue to thrive.”

Durbin said the funding is definitely helpful and appreciated as the airport continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, something he said is happening slowly but surely.

“Kentucky has been fortunate to have a strong leader in Sen. McConnell, as we have all faced the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic,” Durbin said in the statement.

McConnell said that now that more than 1.6 million people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, “Owensboro’s airport team is ready to champion our economic comeback.”

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