Congressman Barr Announces Federal Community Fund Grant to EKU for the Construction of the Central Kentucky Regional Airport Terminal


RICHMOND, Ky. (April 22, 2024) — President David McFaddin joined Congressman Andy Barr to announce that Eastern Kentucky University (EKU)’s application for $3.5 million in federal funding was awarded to construct a $4.5 million general aviation terminal at the Central Kentucky Regional Airport. Congressman Barr advocated for and secured this funding in the Fiscal Year 2024 Community Project Funding process. The funds were awarded out of Community Fund dollars from the House Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. EKU will be matching $1 million of the funding awarded, bringing the total funding to $4.5 million.

“This critical federal funding for the Central Kentucky Regional Airport's new terminal, will fuel the growth of EKU's Aviation program and regional economic development,” said Congressman Barr. “This isn't just an investment in infrastructure; it's a step forward for aviation education in Kentucky. I am proud to deliver Kentuckians’ hard-earned tax dollars back to the community ensuring our Commonwealth remains a leader in aviation excellence.”

Central Kentucky Regional Airport, in Madison County, is the third busiest general aviation airport in the state and the busiest in the 6th Congressional District. It’s home to Kentucky’s only four-year aviation degree program, serving more than 400 EKU students with a 99% placement rate upon graduation. 

“Eastern Kentucky University is a leader in aviation education for the Commonwealth,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “It is time for our facilities to catch up with the growth of the program. I want to thank 6th Congressional District Congressman Andy Barr for his unwavering support of EKU and for seeing the important impact the Central Kentucky Regional Airport and EKU’s flight program plays in the region.”

The airport, managed by EKU in cooperation with the City of Berea, the City of Richmond and the Madison County Fiscal Court, has been successful in spite of the outdated facilities.

“This airport serves as our community’s front door,” remarked George Wyatt, chairman of the Madison County Airport Board. “For potential companies, it’s their initial look into our region. With this upgraded terminal, we enhance that first impression, bolstering economic growth for our cities and counties and fostering a pathway for future pilots through partnerships like the EKU Aviation program.”

The current terminal is a 50-year-old facility, originally built to accommodate small volumes of general aviation traffic. In the last 10 years, airport traffic has dramatically increased due to general aviation traffic and the growth of EKU’s Aviation program. Along with the current terminal, two government surplus trailers were brought onto the property to provide relief classrooms and training space for EKU Aviation students. 

Construction of the new terminal will enable Central Kentucky Regional Airport to accommodate the volume of customers as well as the needs of a modern-day pilot. The following will be addressed: 

  • Outdated facilities, electrical and plumbing that cannot handle user demands

  • Pilot rest areas and enhanced weather briefing space

  • Community space to accommodate emergency response and business meetings

  • Terminal that reflects a real-life experience for flight students

  • Terminal that provides improved services for general aviation and corporate pilots

  • ADA-accessible facility

  • Parking for an increased volume of student, general aviation and corporate pilots

  • Appropriate space for monitoring air traffic

  • An inviting and professional “front door” for general aviation pilots, corporate clients, community members and prospective and current EKU Aviation students

The Central Kentucky Regional Airport is conveniently located in Central Kentucky, off Interstate 75. A partnership between EKU and Central Kentucky Regional Airport has brought significant growth to the airport, along with a hands-on learning experience for thousands of flight students. EKU trains traditional pilots, unmanned aircraft systems pilots and aviation managers. The first aviation minor was offered in 1984, and in 1991, EKU was approved to offer Kentucky’s first and only baccalaureate degree program in aviation.


Photos from EKU's Airport Terminal Funding Announcement.

Media can find this article among others on the EKU Stories website.

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is a student-centered, comprehensive regional university dedicated to high-quality instruction, service and scholarship serving approximately 15,000 students.

Thank you for supporting local journalism.
Click here to Subscribe.
Click here to donate.