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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Help Establish Training Center for Maintenance Technology Programs at Pensacola International Airport, Florida

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $12.25 million grant to the city of Pensacola, Florida, to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to establish a maintenance training facility at Pensacola International Airport. The EDA grant, to be matched with more than $36 million in state and local investment, is expected to help create 400 jobs.

“The Trump Administration is committed to not only retaining jobs in this country, but also to creating new opportunities for Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new maintenance training facility being built with the help of this grant will prepare students for careers in the commercial aviation industry while also making the region’s economy more resilient in the face of future natural disasters.”

“As Florida continues on a path of economic growth, it is imperative that we work to strengthen our infrastructure and workforce development programs,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Thanks to the support from President Trump and Secretary Ross, this $12.25 million grant for Pensacola will create new opportunities for our students, boost our economy through job creation and increased investment, and enhance the region’s resiliency to natural disasters.”

“I welcome the Department of Commerce’s investment to establish a maintenance training facility at Pensacola International Airport,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “This important investment in Pensacola’s infrastructure will help to create hundreds of new jobs and opportunities for dignified work, as well as uplift the local economy.”

“Last year alone, more than 126 million visitors traveled to Florida – with nearly 94 million of those visitors traveling through our airports,” said Senator Rick Scott. “As Governor and now as Senator, I will always work to give our airports the resources they need to operate safely and efficiently. This $12.25 million EDA investment for infrastructure improvements at Pensacola International Airport will build on our efforts and help the airport sustain our state’s continued growth.”

“Once again, the Trump Administration has invested in a big way for Northwest Florida,” said Congressman Matt Gaetz’s (FL-01). “This project will make the Pensacola Airport a hub of activity for training our nation’s future pilots, creating more jobs for Floridians, and generating many more indirect high demand, high paying jobs in the aviation and aerospace industry. I’m thrilled by the continued growth in our community and thanks to the strong leadership from the City of Pensacola and the Board of Triumph Gulf Coast, I’m confident this growth will continue long into the future. The excellent collaboration between the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, and Triumph Gulf Coast proves we are moving in an exciting direction. The Trump Administration clearly recognizes the value of Northwest Florida—our modernizing infrastructure represents a thrilling time for Florida and for our country.”

This project will fund the construction of a 173,000 square-foot airport hangar, along with adjacent taxi ways and related infrastructure, at Pensacola International Airport. Designed to withstand 170 mph winds, the facility will support state-of-the-art maintenance, repair and overhaul operations, and provide a training center for commercial and technological aviation programs. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Florida Regional Planning Council. EDA funds the West Florida Regional Planning Council 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.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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