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SC Aeronautics Commission Approves Nearly $2.8 Million in Grants

sunset and wing of plane

Earlier this month, SC Aeronautics Commission awarded nearly $2.8 million in airport and education grants. Twenty-three grants were approved on November 14, 2023, representing an additional $16.8 million in federal and local matching funds spent here in South Carolina. Please see the press release below. 

South Carolina Aeronautics Commission Approves Nearly $2.8 Million in Airport and Educational Grants throughout the State

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In its meeting on November 14, 2023, the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission approved 23 grant requests totaling nearly $2.8 million.

A diverse range of projects includes the purchase of programmable drones for the Challenger Learning Center in Columbia, the replacement of Air Traffic Control (ATC) equipment at Donaldson Field, the installation of an Automated Weather Observation Station (AWOS) at Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport, and the rehabilitation of airfield pavement at many other airports throughout the state.

“We are very pleased to be able to support these great projects at our airports in South Carolina,” said Commission Chairman Delphin Gantt. “Not long ago, we would not have been able to consider, let alone support, these 23 requests. The re-allocation of airline property taxes to our State Aviation Fund has been a game-changer for the maintenance and improvement of our airport infrastructure.” 

Airports in all seven South Carolina congressional districts received grants. Most of the 23 approved grants represent five percent of total project costs. For projects with a federal match, the Federal Aviation Administration typically funds 90 percent, and the airport owner funds the remaining five percent. However, there were many grants that included no federal participation with the state and airport owners providing all of the funding.

“We are moving forward with a program to rehabilitate secondary runways throughout the state which are often not funded by the FAA,” said South Carolina Aeronautics Executive Director Gary Siegfried. “Many of our state’s public airports are former military airfields which typically had three runways. This program will increase the utility and safety of these airports by ensuring suitable runway access in almost all wind conditions.” A grant for full design of the secondary runway at Anderson Regional Airport was among those awarded.

The state's Airport Development Grant program leverages the financial participation of the FAA and airport owners to invest in the maintenance and improvement of our infrastructure, which consists of 58 publicly owned, public-use airports. The $2.8 million awarded in these state grants means an additional $16.8 million spent by others here in our state. 

The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission fosters air and economic development by overseeing the safety and development of the state’s public-use airports, by providing safe and reliable air transportation for state government and business prospects; and by providing aviation education opportunities.  For more information, visit


For More Information, please contact SC Aeronautics Commission
Contact: Christopher Eversmann, Airport Development Program Manager
Phone: 839-223-5278