City Council has approved additional funding for the Delaware Municipal Airport runway extension project.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved the city’s grant request in September to extend Runway 28 by 800 linear feet. The grant would cover 90 percent of the project’s development and construction costs.
Delaware Director of Public Works William Ferrigno told council on Nov. 9 that the FAA had initially approved the Airport Improvement Plan to advance over a three-year period. However, the FAA later asked that the project be consolidated in a single phase, with construction in 2016.
The city had not budgeted for its matching contribution for the entire project in the 2015 budget, necessitating the legislation. The project cost is $4,786,040.96, with the grant amount of $4,250,949, making a local matching contribution of $535,091.96.
The ordinance allows the city to use its reserve account fund in lieu of delaying other capital improvement plan projects, and amend the 2016 and 2017 capital improvement budgets accordingly.
The city’s website said the airport “is home to approximately 80 aircraft and handles an estimated 40,000 operations per year, including corporate activity, training and pleasure flying. The city oversees all aspects of the airport. … The city has aggressively pursued airport enhancements that include an expanded 5,000-foot runway and the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), allowing precision approach for horizontal and vertical navigation.”
Airport officials have said the runway extension is for safety purposes with the existing planes, and not being done to accommodate larger aircraft.