By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

Money is finally rolling in for a new Crescent City airport terminal.

A $1.3 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration was approved this week for Del Norte County.

Though the grant will not cover the entire expense of a new terminal big enough to handle two separate airlines and their space requirements, it will provide a significant start, according to those on the countys Aviation Advisory Committee.

Del Norte County Board of Supervisors Chair Martha McClure said the grant is a precursor to future funds.

This is the seventh one from the FAA. These are the funds we use each year for maintenance and improvements, McClure said. She noted, however, this $1.3 million grant is particularly sizable.

No one is sure yet how the new terminal will look, though airport manager Theresa Kekry said the FAA requires it to be a completely new building.

They didnt want us to just do improvements to the existing one, Kekry said.

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and Kekry will start looking for an engineer to design the building when the money arrives.

With the help of Kekry, McClure and the rest of the Aviation Advisory Committee are forming a master plan for the airport.

On the project list is extending and strengthening the runways so larger planes can land here.

And something will have to be done about parking.

With new FAA security requirements, no parking of private vehicles is allowed within 300 feet of the terminal. That means the current lot at Jack McNamara field is not useable.

For now passengers leaving cars at the terminal must park along Dale Ruppert Road.

To work out the parking and other security problems forced by new requirements, Kekry has been on the phone with FAA officials this week.