Leesburg airport gets $500K state grant to upgrade security

Leesburg airport gets $500K state grant to upgrade security

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The Leesburg International Airport will get a state grant to upgrade its security that could be as much as $600,000.  Most of the money will be spent on new fencing at the airport. Interim Airport Director Doug Drymon says the fence replacement will be, in part, cosmetic. Currently, the fences have barbed wire at the top.

"Not all, but some of the fencing currently here in the middle of the airport with more decorative, vinyl coated, chain link fencing.  So we're just trying to basically make the fencing look a little less like this is a prison, and really more like a general aviation airport where we want people to come."

Access at the Leesburg airport is not tightly controlled, since it is a general aviation airport. Drymon says safety is the biggest need with the more than $500,000.

"We don't want to see somebody walking into the propeller of an aircraft or walking behind a jet at a time when that jet's engines are running."

The FAA and Department of Homeland Security are also scrutinizing this airport. Drymon says that's one of the reasons the State Department of Transportation is giving them the money for the project.

"Part of this project is to address the ongoing concerns of the Transportation Security Administration, Florida Department of Transportation, the FAA in terms of security for both the general public and the aviation public."

The airport also plans to add new gates, and enhanced video access and card access equipment.  Nearly $70,000 is also planned for engineering improvements, and that could push the total price tag over $600,000.

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