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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala (WHNT) — Governor Kay Ivey awarded a $1 million grant Monday to help expand a North Alabama airport and bring a new industry to the area.

A press release from the governor’s office said that the grant will create 250 jobs in North Alabama. The community development block grant was awarded to the Limestone County Commission to extend the infrastructure needed for an aviation-related company to locate at Pryor Regional Airport.

The grant will be used to install sewer limes and a pump station to connect the airport, the company and future business to the main sewer system on U.S. Highway 31. The airport has previously used a septic system.

The airport is jointly owned by the Limestone and Morgan County Commissions and the cities of Athens and Decatur.

The company will use the location to service and repair both civilian and military aircraft. The company plans to construct a 44,000-square-foot hangar with office space and shops to accommodate 50 employees.

The company plans to later build a 130,000-square-foot hangar to hire an additional 200 employees.

Airport Manager Adam Fox says the funding, made available to the state through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will not only help expand its footprint but create around 250 jobs for the area.

Fox also wants the public to know that there are major upgrades planned this year and in 2024 for the airport.

“It takes a full village to really do economic development the right way,” he said. “So that’s Limestone EDA, Morgan County EDA, the City of Athens, the City of Decatur – Limestone County in particular because that’s where the airport resides. It takes the cities and state officials. It takes a great governor with a leadership that strives for growth in our state.”

Ivey said the project is an example of the work the state is putting in to support the aviation and aerospace industries in Alabama

“Alabama continues to grow its footprint in aerospace and aviation industries, and this project is another example to demonstrate the great leaps we have taken in helping industry to grow and thrive in our state,” Ivey said. “I congratulate the local government leaders who worked together to make this project a reality.”

The grant will be administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

“ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in support of this project which will bring new jobs to the area,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “I commend these four governments who not only recognize the potential but have joined forces to take full advantage of Pryor Regional Airport and its importance in this rapidly growing region of Alabama.”

The release said the governor has already notified Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly that the grant has been approved. $477,530 in local funds has been pledged to help with the project.

Fox says if you’d like to learn more about Pryor Field, be sure to visit their website.

He also recommends checking out the North Alabama Airfest – set to take place June 10th-11th, 2023.