After more than two years of planning for a new terminal building at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, officials gathered at the airport for a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning. On hand were officials from the Federal Aviation Administration, the state and the city, including members of the airport advisory board.
In fiscal year 2015, the project received a $1.2 million grant from the FAA for terminal design. Brownsville Airport Director Bryant Walker said the FAA’s total contribution ultimately will be about $6 million. The total cost of the project is estimated at $27 million to $30 million.
Walker said the city likely will issue certificate-of-obligation bonds to cover the rest of the cost, and hopes to partner with entities such as the Brownsville Economic Development Council and Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, and possibly the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, to service the bonds, he said.
“In addition to that, I’m personally going to other federal agencies such as (Customs and Border Protection) and (the Transportation Security Administration), and we expect that we’ll get several million in contributions for various projects,” Walker said. “They’re very specific about what they’ll participate in, and we’re very confident that we can secure additional funding through those agencies.” As for the additional $5 million in FAA money, the agency has committed to providing the funds when they’re needed, he said.
“We don’t have a tentative allocation and we don’t have an award letter, but we have submitted the project,” Walker said. “It’s been approved, and we have the commitment of the funds. What that means is … they’ve programmed the funding in the timeline that we’re going to be doing our construction.”