HARLINGEN, Texas – U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores says the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding Valley International Airport a discretionary grant of $7 million.

She says the funding will go to VIA via the City of Harlingen and be used to extend runway 17R/35L. This runway is currently the longest in the Rio Grande Valley at 8,300 feet.

The Valley International Airport is owned by the City of Harlingen.

“This is fantastic news for Valley International Airport and TX-34 residents,” Flores said. “These projects have a positive impact on our district air connectivity and our local economy.”

Flores said thehe City of Harlingen and VIA Director of Aviation Marv Esterly and his team “have done a great job in positioning the airport for future growth.”

She added: “I intend to keep advocating on behalf of district residents, to make projects and improvements like this one, possible in our community.”

Esterly thanked Flores for her efforts. He said he looks forward to continuing working with her and the Department of Transportation to improve VIA’s infrastructure for both passenger travel and cargo.

“This runway extension will assist our larger wide-body cargo aircraft, operating daily here at Valley International Airport, by improving their ability to takeoff with heavier loads,” Esterly said. 

“In addition, the extra runway length, along with improved aircraft approach capabilities, will assist our airlines by minimizing delays and cancelations during inclement weather.”

Valley International Airport covers over 2,400 acres. It is the largest airport in the Rio Grande Valley and serves nearly 700,000 passengers annually. 

Esterly said that given its location, its current infrastructure, and available room for growth, VIA is well positioned for expansion.

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