A $7 million federal grant is helping to seal the deal on a much-needed expansion project for the Rochester International Airport.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DLF) Minnesota, was at RST Friday afternoon for the official announcement that the $12 million project is moving forward.

“The combination of the work of the City of Rochester, a little state money, and then a lot of federal money made a big difference and the FAA recognized that this was a worthy project for a very worthy town,” Klobuchar says.

As we’ve reported, the current U.S. Customs facility at the airport no longer met safety and security standards, and if upgrades weren’t made, the airport risked losing its “international” status.

This caused concerns, especially after the state legislature failed to pass a bonding bill that would have provided state funding.

“Of course we are hoping that bonding bill works out eventually because that would be a big help here, but we still are getting over $7 million in federal funding and that’s a pretty good chunk of change,” she adds.

In addition to that money, the project received funding from the City of Rochester and Minnesota Department of Aeronautics.