DeFuniak Springs, FL…Governor Ron DeSantis signed the FY 2021-22 state budget totaling $101.5 billion which includes $650,000 in funding for the extension and widening of Runway 9-27 at the DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport. The runway is just over 4,000 feet. The additional length will enable larger planes to fly into DeFuniak Springs increasing demand on the airport facility and expanding economic growth. The airport is the only one in Walton County.
“This is an exciting time for DeFuniak Springs,” says DeFuniak Springs Mayor Bob Campbell, “as the City continues to grow with more people and business owners wanting to move and do business here. This funding is critical as it is one of a few essential first steps in several investments at the airport that will help bring economic development and further growth to the city.”
Legislative champions supporting the DeFuniak Springs Airport funding include local Walton County legislative delegation members Senator George Gainer, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development; and Representative Brad Drake, Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Infrastructure & Tourism; along with fellow Panhandle delegation members in key positions such as Representative Jayer Williamson, Chairman of the House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee; and Jay Trumbull, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
The governmental consulting firm Liberty Partners helped to identify the legislative funding source with the support of the mayor, city council and in coordination with city staff. The firm will continue to seek additional airport funding from other sources including the Job Growth Grant Fund at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity – a fund that now includes $74 million in grant opportunities – as well as from Triumph Gulf Coast.
The state budget takes effect July 1. The City will then begin the expansion project once all agreements are signed with the State.