Aerial photograph of Montgomery Field. Photo credit: Craig Butz/Wiki Commons

Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in Kearny Mesa received a $270,000 federal infrastructure grant, officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration awarded more than $627.7 million for infrastructure and safety projects through the FY2021 Airport Improvement Program.

The projects supported by the grants are intended to promote safety, efficiency, environmental stewardship, infrastructure and security at the nation’s airports.

“These grants are an investment in safety and continued innovation,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “Every airport in every community plays a vital role in our air transportation system.”

The FAA designates the airport as a reliever site for San Diego International Airport, with the ability to ease congestion at the larger airfield in certain circumstances.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the grants “will help airports across the country better serve their communities.”

“Modernizing our infrastructure in a way that creates jobs, ensures safety, combats climate change and fosters equity is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration,” he added.

The FAA awarded 449 grants to 390 airports in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport, a general aviation airport originally known as Gibbs Field, opened in 1937. It bore the name of William Gibbs, who leased the facility in 1940 to train Army Air Corps cadets to fly.

San Diego purchased the airport from Gibbs in 1947 and three years later renamed it Montgomery Field in honor of John J. Montgomery, who is credited with making the first controlled flight in a fixed-wing aircraft.

In 2016, the San Diego City Council passed a resolution changing the name of the airport to Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport to honor Gibbs, who died that same year at 106.

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