Delaware Senators Carper, Coons Tout Infrastructure Investment at Wilmington Airport
$5.4 Million FAA Grant to Construct New Taxiway at the Facility

NEW CASTLE, Del. – On Thursday, September 21, U.S. Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regional Manager Lori Pagnanelli joined with Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Executive Director Tom Cook and DRBA Airports Director Stephen Williams to announce a $5.4 million grant to construct a new Taxiway B at the Wilmington Airport. This grant funds the second of three phases for the new taxiway, which will replace old Taxiway B and E. Over the past ten years, more than $48 million have been invested in multiple infrastructure projects at the aviation facility.

“Smart investments in our nation’s infrastructure are important to keep us all moving safely, and this $5.4 million grant award from the FAA will help make those vital improvements to the Wilmington airport,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “But these investments aren’t just about safety, they create jobs and attract businesses. Aviation supports 2,600 jobs in the First State, and contributes nearly $600 million to our economy each year. That’s a big impact on a small state.”

“As a nation, we must continue to invest in our infrastructure,” said Sen. Coons. “That means not just airports and roads, but bridges, tunnels and ports. This investment in the Wilmington Airport will help ease the congestion from incoming and departing flights as well as help the airport to follow FAA regulations to ensure safety of pilots and airport workers and we’re thankful federal funds could help with this project.”

“On behalf of the Commissioners and staff, we would like to thank Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester for their efforts to secure this important federal funding,” said DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook. “A sound transportation network, which includes airport facilities, is critical for the economic vitality of the region. Since 2007, our delegation has worked hard to secure nearly $50 million to improve and enhance infrastructure at ILG that is essential for the health and prosperity of the airport.”

This four-phase project focuses on the realignment of current Taxiways B and E to form a single parallel taxiway to Runway 1-19. This third phase affects a 2,800 foot segment of Taxiway B north of the second phase. This segment serves as access to the northern end of Runway 1-19 and adjacent facilities. The work includes the removal and reconstruction of the existing taxiway 50 feet further from the adjacent runway to comply with FAA standards. The work is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.

The second phase was completed two years ago at a cost of nearly $5 million and focused on realigning 2,900 feet in the middle of the full length parallel taxiway to mitigate a confusing taxiway intersection. The fourth phase will involve the realignment of current Taxiway E to line up properly with Taxiway B. Upon completion of this fourth phase the new combined taxiway with a length of 7,240 feet will be re-designated in its entirety as Taxiway B.

In a related development, two significant infrastructure projects are nearing completion at Wilmington Airport. The DRBA invested more than $4 million in new, expanded terminal parking, which will be wrapped up this month. In addition to new paving, curbing, and storm water management, the project focused on upgraded lighting, signage, improved traffic flow, and expanded parking availability in Lot A. The expanded parking lot has nearly 200 more spaces for airport customers and a new perimeter road around the entire terminal lot to enhance traffic safety and efficiency. The project was designed in multiple phases for minimal impact on airport customers.

Last fall, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded the DRBA more than $4.2 million to expand the existing Terminal Apron, realign a portion of Taxiway A, and rehabilitate portions of Taxiway C at the Wilmington Airport (ILG). The project, which will be completed by the end of the year, will expand apron capacity around the terminal building and improve adjacent drainage, lighting and signage to meet general aviation demand.

During the past four calendar years, ILG has handled nearly 350,000 airfield operations. Expansion of the terminal apron dovetailed with the rehabilitation of Taxiway A to increase the apron’s capacity and access to the terminal building to meet aviation demand. The existing drainage system, including the addition of a new underground storm water treatment facility, was enhanced and new edge lights and signs installed.

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, the Three Forts Ferry Crossing and the Salem Business Centre in Carney’s Point Twp., NJ. The Authority also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All agency operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, visit www.drba.net.

Williams_Carper_Coons.jpg: U.S. Senator Tom Carper responds to a reporter’s question concerning infrastructure investment and possible future prospects of commercial air service at the Wilmington Airport as Stephen Williams (left) and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (right) listen during a press conference held inside the airport’s passenger lounge.

Expanded Terminal Parking Lot

Taxiway B Engineering Plan

PDF of Press Release