|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Wednesday, August 12, 1998
Youngstown, Ohio – U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) announced this morning that the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $3 million grant to Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna, Ohio. Traficant was notified last night of the grant by Rodney Slater, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Traficant said that Secretary Slater also informed him that an additional grant of $15 million will be provided to the airport some time this fall. The $18 million in grant money will be used to continue work on the establishment of an air cargo distribution facility.
In October of 1996, the Vienna airport was awarded a $11.5 million grant from the FAA for the first phase of the project. The grant was announced by then-Transportation Secretary Federico Pena, who stated that the Clinton Administration was committed to providing funds for all phases of the air cargo project. "I am thrilled that the Administration has kept its promise to me and the people of our Valley," said Traficant, a senior member of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation.
The $3 million grant was awarded by the FAA through the Airport Improvement Program. The AIP provides both formula and discretionary grants to U.S. airports. Last year the airport applied for a $18.8 million AIP grant for the second phase of the air cargo project. However, because of budget cuts made earlier this year to the AIP, the FAA has a limited amount of funds left in the discretionary portion of the AIP for fiscal year 1998, which ends on September 30, 1998. The FAA will award a second $15 million grant to the airport once the new fiscal year starts in October. All of the grants for the air cargo project are discretionary.
The proposed air cargo distribution facility will include extended runways, state-of-the-art cargo complex, road and rail access, and a foreign free-trade zone. Over the past five years Traficant has met on several occasions with top Administration officials – including the President – to discuss the air cargo proposal. He has also organized a number of meetings and briefings involving federal, state and local officials. In 1996 Traficant attached an amendment to an FAA reauthorization bill making it easier for small airports, such as Youngstown-Warren Regional, to receive federal air cargo grants. The Traficant provision is now law.2009