Vardaman, Corrigan excited about $2.4 Million Grant will Support Remote Air Traffic Control Academy at Craig Field

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2.4 million to the Craig Field Airport & Industrial Authority.

The funds will go toward  building renovations needed to support the remote air traffic control academy. The project will renovate two buildings at Craig Field to provide classroom and dormitory space for the academy.

The EDA investment will be matched with $609,420 in local funds and expected to create 119 jobs and generate $7 million in private investment.

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Craig Field Executive Director Jim Corrigan said the funds will be put to good use.

“This is great news for Craig Field, Dallas County, and Selma Alabama,” Corrigan said. “This grant enables us to complete the renovation of the air traffic control academy and remote tower center and begin renovations on a 3 story, 76 room dormitory to house students who will train as air traffic controllers, mechanics, and pilots.  We thank the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Planning Commission and the EDA for their efforts in helping us obtain this grant.”

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) thanked the Biden-Harris Administration.

“I thank the Biden-Harris Administration for their continued partnership as we work to bring more resources and opportunities to our communities,” Sewell said.

Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority  Executive Director Wayne Vardaman said the deal will be a big boost for aviation in Selma and Dallas County.

“We are excited about the announcement,” Vardaman said. “It will allow Craig to go forward in the completion of the construction on the much needed dorms.  We were proud to assist Craig in the procurement of the grant. This will mean a lot for aviation in Selma and Dallas County.’’

The project was done by the regional planning efforts led by the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission (ATRC). EDA funds ATRC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

“President Biden is making sure communities like Selma, Alabama have the resources they need to grow their local economies,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “This EDA investment will revitalize the Craig Field Airport & Industrial Authority and help to establish a modern, remote air traffic control training facility that will boost the region’s workforce and create new economic opportunity.”

Added: Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo: “The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the remote air traffic control academy at Craig Field,.