For Immediate Release

Release No. AOC 28-06
September 25, 2006
Contact: Marcia Adams
Phone: (202) 267-3488

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Air travelers heading into and out of fast-growing St. George, Utah soon will be able to fly by scheduled jet aircraft now that the federal government is investing $17.2 million to help pay for a new airport for the community, Marion C. Blakey, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), announced today.

“Aviation is about more than just airplanes – it’s about providing the kind of economic connections communities need to thrive,” Administrator Blakey said. “The new airport will make sure air service keeps pace with all of the growth we are seeing here in southern Utah.”

The new FAA grant is the largest single federal grant for an airport in Utah. The city will use the initial grant money to buy 277 acres of land for the new airport site, which is approximately five miles from downtown St. George. About 1,300 acres are needed for the airport, and the city plans to acquire the additional land over the next two years.

The new airport will include a new 9,300-foot runway large enough to allow scheduled commercial jet airlines and business jets to fly into St. George for the first time. The airport will be a state-of-the-art facility, which will handle twice as many passengers as the existing airport.  The new runway will have the latest in lighting systems and navigation technology.

Scheduled to open in 2011, the new airport will use an approach procedure designed to keep aircraft as high as possible and to the west of Zion National Park in order to lessen the noise impact on the park. 

The airport was necessary because St. George was the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan area from 2000 to 2005 and the community now totals more than 160,000 residents. “This community is growing so fast that it deserves the kind of service many other places have enjoyed for decades,” Blakey said.