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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