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MSP airport to receive $12 million to help build air rescue, firefighting facility after Minnesota wildfires

The funds will go toward the construction of an air rescue and firefighting building at the airport. Officials hope to build out a fuller Emergency Operations Center there.

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A smoke plume rises from a fast-moving wildfire north of Greenwood Lake in Lake County on Sunday afternoon. Officials were notifying people in the McDougal chain of lakes area they should leave the area. Contributed / Superior National Forest
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ST. PAUL — The Federal Aviation Administration gave $12 million to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to start construction on an air rescue and firefighting building, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced on Friday, Dec. 3.

The award comes after Minnesota saw an unprecedented summer and fall season of wildfires. The senators requested the funding to kickstart construction on a new fire station at the airport. Initial funds will help MSP airport comply with Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements.

Over further phases, airport and state emergency officials hope to build out an Emergency Operations Center that will serve as a base for firefighters, police and 911 dispatch responders.

“After unprecedented wildfires in our state this summer, constructing a new aircraft rescue and fire fighting station is critical to supporting the airport’s infrastructure and ensuring the safety of all residents and visitors," Klobuchar said in a news release.

Smith said she would continue working to get more federal funding to Minnesota to complete the airport project and others.

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Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email dferguson@forumcomm.com

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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