As part of an unprecedented effort to provide immediate assistance to airports across the United States, the University of Central Missouri’s Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport will receive a $30,000 federal grant.

Skyhaven Airport, which is both an educational and community-use facility for the Warrensburg area, is receiving funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program announced this week by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

This newly created stimulus aid package provides $152.4 million in funding for Missouri airports through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The program will serve 75 Missouri airports, and is one piece of the CARES Act, designed to help the nation’s workers, families and businesses in response to COVID-19.

“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” Secretary Chao said in a press release.

According to the FAA, grant funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

Funds will be administered through the Missouri Department of Transportation. UCM will work in cooperation with MoDOT to determine how funding will be used at Skyhaven.

“UCM is very happy with the availability of these funds and is working closely with the FAA and MoDOT to access the funds in a way that will provide maximum benefit for the flying public and users of the UCM Max. B. Swisher-Skyhaven Airport,” said Terry Hunt, chair of the School of Aviation.

UCM’s airport has long been an important part of the local economic landscape and in the preparation of individuals who plan to work in the aviation industry. During the past five decades, UCM aviation has grown from a program with only 25 students to a comprehensive aviation education program that serves nearly 500 students, and has a reputation for quality while seeking to provide qualified aviation professionals who can fill a global shortage of pilots.

The program has grown from a fleet of only four Cessna 150s to more than 24 aircraft ranging from the Cessna 172 Skyhawk to the high-performance Beechcraft B58 Baron, and includes a state-of-the art flight simulation programs.

To meet the needs of the present and future, the school has developed a multiphase renovation plan, which includes construction of an aviation center at Skyhaven Airport to house the UCM flight school, FBO/terminal as well as offices, instructional spaces, a dispatch area, a flight planning room and accommodations for public use. Learn more about this effort by visiting ucmfoundation.org/airport-renovation.