Orlando Sanford International Airport is receiving a $4.2 million federal grant to improve operations, expand capacity and enhance the passenger experience, the office of U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy announce Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration grant will pay for the construction of 28,226 square yards of airfield apron expansion, to provide parking for aircraft.

The grant is part of a package that also is to include $5.6 million, announced last fall, to widen the airport’s main taxiway, part of a major expansion project to include four more gates and expected to be completed in 2020.

“It’s my pleasure to announce this federal investment in Orlando Sanford International Airport as it continues to grow and expand operations,” Murphy stated in a news release issued by her congressional office. “This grant will create good-paying jobs in the short term and sustain economic development in the long term for the Sanford area. I’m proud to support SFB, and I’ll keep doing all I can to help meet our region’s growing transportation infrastructure needs.”

Orlando Sanford International Airport is one of the fastest-growing airports in the country. The number of passengers annually using the airport has nearly doubled in recent years — from just under 1.58 million in 2011 to a projected 3 million this year — and is expected to increase further in the coming years.

“These projects represent critical infrastructural improvements to sustain our continued growth. Congressman Murphy’s support and understanding of our needs going forward is gratefully acknowledged by the Orlando Sanford International Airport,” Orelando Sanford International Airport President Diane Crews stated in the release.

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