Construction at the Delaware Municipal Airport is expected to take place next year.
“You’re not going to see anything until spring, but it’s what we anticipated all along,” said Delaware city public works superintendent Joe Bullis at a City Airport Commission meeting earlier this week. “We were told maybe we could do some dirt work this fall, but it didn’t happen.”
Although the Federal Aviation Administration has approved a grant for an 800-foot runway extension for safety reasons, the width of the taxiway became a problem.
“It was initially approved for the 40-foot taxiways by the FAA, and at the last second they remembered they weren’t allowed to do a 40-foot taxiway – it had to be 35,” Bullis said.
By then, the project had already been bid out.
A redesign, which includes changing the placement of the taxiways’ lights, is near completion.
“We can still move forward with the project come springtime,” Bullis said. The work, when completed, will include resurfacing the taxiway, ramp area expansion to the east and added fencing.
Also at the meeting, Bullis and airport operations supervisor Kevin Piatt discussed the purchase of a used snow blower that was in Ashtabula. The pump will be repaired before the first snow, and should last another season or two. The equipment is said to cut the time needed to remove snow at the airport, and leaves snow behind loosely, instead of as a wall.
“Most airports don’t plow,” Piatt said. “We can plow and it looks nice, but what we’ve done with compaction is create a nice, smooth, slick surface. Until the sun comes out and it melts, it really is worse than an inch or two of snow as far as traction goes.”
“That was a good find,” said chairwoman Janie McIntire.
Piatt said that despite a wet summer, some painting projects were completed, and business was good at the airport.
The 315-acre airport is at 1075 Pittsburgh Drive and has a 5,000-foot runway, two maintenance hangars, six T-hangars, and an administration building. Nearly 100 aircraft are based there, with an estimated 40,000 flights from corporate jet, recreational and instruction. The airport serves as a reliever for Ohio State University’s Don Scott Field. It is owned, operated, maintained and managed by the city of Delaware.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.