Business Wire

Orlando Melbourne Int’l (MLB) Lands Largest FAA Grant in Its History


When Air Force One landed at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) in February, Airport Executive Director Greg Donovan took advantage of the opportunity and advised the president of the United States that his 747-200 just landed on a commercial runway officially rated ‘poor’ in aviation terms. That’s going to change, thanks to an $18,132,588 FAA grant announced by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao today.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Greg Donovan, A.A.E. (Photo: Business Wire)

Greg Donovan, A.A.E. (Photo: Business Wire)

“We asked for, and received, tremendous support from the Florida congressional delegation,” said Jack L. Ryals, chairman of the Melbourne Airport Authority. “We are deeply grateful to Congressman Posey, Senator Nelson and Senator Rubio for their advocacy on this critical infrastructure. They knocked it out of the park, landing MLB the largest FAA discretionary grant in the airport’s history.”

According to Ryals, the airport addressed the runway needs with U.S. Secretary Chao at an international aviation convention this summer. He explained that the FAA is providing 90% of the project's funding. In addition, the Florida Department of Transportation is providing $959,666, and the airport is matching with $1,055,067. “The state of Florida came through once again for this important community asset,” he emphasized.

According to Greg Donovan, A.A.E., the total funding of $20,147,321 will provide for the design and construction of the mill and overlay of the airport’s primary runway 9R/27L and runway lights project for the airport which serves a significant number of tourists, aircraft assembly and DOD contractors. “It’s long overdue, but highly gratifying for Orlando Melbourne International Airport to receive this funding, and with it the recognition of our importance to serve the people, the tourists and the businesses of Central Florida.”


Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) serves the Central Florida coast with three runways, a 200,000 sq. ft. terminal and a 40,000 sq. ft. customs facility. It is served by Delta Air Lines, Elite Airways, Porter Airlines and American Airlines with nearly 500,000 passengers annually. Convenient to Orlando and Port Canaveral, the airport is also home to the world headquarters of Harris Corp., Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins, L3, General Dynamics, Thales and Embraer Executive Jets, among others. For more information, visit

Contact information

Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB)
Media Contact:
Lori Booker, 321-723-6227

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