DeKalb airport secures over $1.1M in federal funding aided by Rep. Lauren Underwood to bulk up security

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, visited the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport Jan. 20, 2023 to celebrate $1.1 million in federal funding she helped secured for the first phase of a perimeter fence security upgrade. She was joined by (from left to right) DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas, 7th Ward Alderman Tony Faivre, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Paul Borek, Mayor Cohen Barnes and Airport Manager Renee Riani.

DeKALB – During a recent trip to DeKalb, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood visited the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport after helping the airport secure more than $1.1 million in federal funding to bulk up the facility’s security.

The funding is meant to replace the airport’s perimeter fencing, phase one of a plan to upgrade the airport’s security which city officials said is critical maintaining the airport’s regional economic pull, according to a news release from the city of DeKalb.

DeKalb’s airport received $1,125,000, according to the release.

“I am proud to deliver over $20 million to fund 15 projects across our community, including over $1 million for DeKalb Airport,” said Underwood, D-Naperville, in a news release. “Ensuring that we are making proper federal investments in our local infrastructure is a top priority of mine. I secured this funding to ensure that the airport can continue to serve as a transportation and economic hub for our community for years to come.”

According to city officials, the DeKalb airport has attracted several large employers to the region. The fencing is meant to help grow the airport’s appeal so its utilized by more companies, the release states.

The fencing is a requirement for the airport to reach a higher status under the Federal Aviation Administration and service larger jet aircraft, according to the release. City officials said the higher status could grow arrivals and departures, including capacity for larger aircrafts.

“We are proud to serve as a transportation and economic hub for the region, and federal investments like this one, which Rep. Underwood worked to secure, will enable us to continue serving the community,” said DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes in a news release. “We can’t wait to get started on this project.”

This funding was submitted by Underwood through the Community Project Funding initiative. In 2022, Underwood selected 14 other projects that will directly benefit the 14th district.

Underwood visited DeKalb Jan. 20 and also toured a Northern Illinois University microelectronics lab which recently secured $1.5 million in federal funding.

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