More Than Just Runway Repaired At Venice Municipal

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"This doesn't happen that often," AOPA President Phil Boyer said Tuesday morning at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen a refurbished Runway 13/31 at Venice (Fla.) Municipal Airport. According to FAA Regional Administrator Doug Murphy, the FAA picked up all but $200,000 of the $4 million tab to repair the 5,000-foot runway. "The runway refurb was done with complete cooperation between local, state and federal officials, as well as the airport users," Boyer added. But just a decade ago this cordial relationship between airport and community was nowhere to be found. In fact, the FAA twice cut off federal funding due to spats with previous local leaders. Now Venice Mayor R. Fred Hammett calls the Gulf Coast airport "a lifeline for our community." The FAA's Murphy said the project is "a shining example" of people working together at all levels. Next year, the FAA is expected to chip in another $2.5 million to resurface Runway 4/22 and enable other airport upgrades, including construction of more T-hangars. There are currently long waiting lists for T-hangars at the uncontrolled airport, which sees about 164,000 operations per year.