Press Release

Congressman Cuellar Announces $5 million in Federal Funding to Laredo Intl Airport for Noise Mitigation, Honor Recently-Retired Airport Manager for Over 30 Years of Service

Funds will continue to address aircraft noise for residences adjacent to airport

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Washington, September 6, 2016 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) today announced the awarding of $5 million in federal funds from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program to the Laredo International Airport. Congressman Cuellar also honored retired Laredo International Airport Manager Jose Luis Flores with a congressional certificate of recognition for 32 years of service with the City of Laredo, where he administrated over $200 million in federal funds and oversaw several major projects, including the construction of the first Mexican Customs pre-clearance facility in the United States.

Congressman Cuellar and representatives from the City fo Laredo on Tuesday announce a $5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to the Laredo International Airport to help nearby residents with air traffic noise. Pictured from left to right are Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, Laredo City Manager Jose Olivares, Congressman Henry Cuellar, Laura Flores and retired Laredo International Airport Manager Jose Luis Flores, City Councilman for District V Roque Vela Jr., and Acting Laredo International Airport Manager Mario Maldonado.

The FAA grant will be used to help finance the airport’s ongoing efforts to reduce noise for those living near the airport. In January, Congressman Cuellar announced a
$6 million noise mitigation grant, which has helped reduce noise in 126 homes around the airport.

As the Laredo International Airport continues to grow, a higher volume of air traffic has contributed to noise for residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. This funding will allow the airport to implement noise mitigation measures for residences within 65-69 Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL), a noise metric used by FAA to measure effect of noise on residential populations over a 24 hour period.

The noise program, which began in 1994, allows homeowners within the designated noise contour area to choose between three mitigation measures. The program permits the airport to acquire the property, purchase an easement (at eight percent of the appraised value of the property) or insulate the home.

The funds announced today will provide sound insulation for 26 residences; enable the purchase of 26 residences and the acquisition of avigation easements of 59 residences. The City of Laredo anticipates that this grant will help reduce noise complaints for approximately 411 residents, or 111 homes.

To date this year, Congressman Cuellar has secured over $11 million in federal funding from the FAA to address aircraft noise for 237 homes near the Laredo International Airport.

“As our airport continues to grow, we must also make sure that our nearby neighborhoods are heard and taken care of during this process,” said Congressman Cuellar. “These funds will continue to provide the necessary assistance to residents who live near the airport. I thank retired Airport Manager Jose Luis Flores, who has been instrumental in securing federal funds that have improved airport infrastructure and enhanced the safety of Laredo’s residents and travelers over the course of his 32-year-long career. I also thank Mayor Pete Saenz, Council Member Vela, and everyone involved in this important project.”

"As our city progresses, the expansion of our airport facility is essential. We are thankful that Congressman Cuellar continues to lend his support to the airport facility. This federal funding is not only important for the growth of the airport, but also for the growth of the entire city of Laredo," said Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz.

Council Member for District V, Roque Vela, Jr., whose boundaries include the Airport, commented on the FAA grant announcement, "I am so thankful for this added funding that will assist us in maintaining these services for noise mitigation and outreach program."

Over the last 25 years the airport has received over $220 million dollars in federal funding.
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