Airports in London and Sparta awarded grants for improvements

London-Corbin Airport, Magee Field runway (aerial picture)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two Kentucky general aviation airports received nearly $11 million in federal discretionary grants to boost safety and economic development within the states vibrant aerospace industry. These funds are part of a $477 million nationwide investment announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve aviation infrastructure.

The Gallatin Airport in Sparta, Kentucky, will receive $9 million to invest in grading and drainage work critical to building a new general aviation airport, and the London-Corbin Airport in London, Kentucky, will receive $1.85 million for needed runway reconstruction on Magee Field. General aviation airports serve private aircraft and are not used for commercial passenger flights.

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Regarding the construction of the new Gallatin County airport, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas said, “Governor Bevin has been a moving force since the beginning of his Administration in getting this 15-year-long project off the ground by securing land for the airport thats primed to spur economic development in this growing region of the state.

The Gallatin regional airport will fill an aviation gap in the region and be the first general aviation airport to serve the business needs of the I-71 corridor from Louisville to Cincinnati. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019. Once complete, the airport will feature a 5500 runway, full-length parallel taxiway, a terminal building, fuel system, and corporate and conventional t-hangars.

Funding for the London-Corbin Airport will improve safety by reconstructing the existing 6,000 feet runway. Ensuring safety is key for the rural airport to remain a reliable hub for businesses interested in economic development in eastern Kentucky. The airport was the site of a recent celebration, including Governor Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers, to recognize a new Kentucky Appalachia Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Training Project to address a shortage of skilled aviation mechanics needed to support the aviation industry.

An additional $1.3 million was listed in the U.S. DOT announcement that reflects a portion of federal funds regularly allocated to maintain and improve Kentucky airports.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.