Delaware Senators Carper, Coons announce $5 million grant to expand Delaware Airpark
Additional money will be used to expand runway, improve safety for pilots
CHESWOLD, Del. – On September 2, U.S. Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons were joined by Delaware State University President Dr. Harry Williams, Delaware River and Bay Authority Airport Administrator Stephen Williams and alumni of DSU’s aviation program who are now working in the aviation industry, to announce another $5.8 million dollar grant to update and expand the Delaware Airpark.
This project will be Phase XII of an ongoing multi-year project to expand the airport by constructing a new runway, taxiway and apron system. It will involve the paving of the new Runway 9-27 (4,200’ x 75’), approximately one-third of its parallel taxiway (60’ wide), three of four associated connector taxiways, and lighting and drainage. It also will include offsite wetland mitigation and the AGIS as-built survey of the runway. One additional project phase remains and the new runway and taxiway system is expected to be operational in 2017.
“As a retired naval flight officer, I understand the positive impacts aviation has on our nation,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “The general aviation industry contributes more than $150 billion annually to our economy and employs more than 1.2 million people throughout the country. This grant award will help the Delaware Airpark expand and attract new clients to the area, and hopefully businesses in the surrounding area will also reap these benefits.”
“This is great news for the Delaware Airpark, DRBA, and the many pilots who use this airport on a daily basis,” said Sen. Coons. “The improvements that will be made on the runway, and other aspects of the airport will improve pilot safety for years to come. This project is also about updating our nation’s infrastructure. When we think about infrastructure, we think roads and bridges, but here we have a great example of what we can achieve when we invest in our airports as well.”
“On behalf of the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commissioners and staff, we would like to thank the FAA and Delaware’s Congressional delegation for their support of this important aviation infrastructure project, a project that is more than ten years in the making,” said Stephen Williams, Airports Director for the Authority. “The funding will be used to construct a new east-west runway and parallel taxiway system consistent with the airport’s master plan that is necessary for continued aviation success and business development growth at the facility. The project illustrates Delaware’s ongoing commitment to the aviation business sector.”
The Delaware Airpark is home to 45 based aircraft and Delaware State University’s flight training program. The aviation facility serves both corporate and recreational flyers year-round. More than $20 million dollars has been invested in this project to improve and enhance Delaware Airpark’s infrastructure.
2015DAP_Grant_Carper_Coons.jpg: U.S. Senator Chris Coons (second on right) and U.S. Senator Tom Carper (second on left) discuss the benefits of new Delaware Airpark runway and taxiway system project with Lori Pagnanelli, Manager, Harrisburg Airports District Office, FAA Eastern Region, current UPS pilot and DSU alum Dave Harding (far left) and DRBA Airports Director Stephen Williams (far right). The project is expected to be completed in 2017.