A runway extension project at Delaware Municipal Airport is slated to begin March 30, members of the city’s Airport Commission were recently told.
“We have a contract signed,” said Delaware public works superintendent Joe Bullis at a commission meeting on Jan. 21. “It’s a pretty tight timeline.”
Kevin Piatt, airport operations supervisor, said the project will take 5-6 months, with 126 days to extend the 5,000 foot runway another 800 feet, and 30 days after that to groove the runway, and another two weeks to 30 days after that to paint the lines.
The project cost is nearly $4.8 million, with 90 percent, or more than $4.2 million, coming from a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, and the rest from the city of Delaware, which runs the airport. Initially, the construction was going to take place over a three-year period, but the FAA later asked to consolidate the project.
Airport officials have said the extension is being done to improve safety.
Bullis said there are some poles maintained by American Electric Power that will need to be moved before the project is completed.
An additional 100,000 square feet of asphalt at the airport needs to be resurfaced, Bullis said, with a mill-and-fill costing $200,000. The city has suggested raising the funds by increasing rental rates for the hangars, and commission members wondered if an increase might cause aircraft owners to park their planes in Marion or Marysville. It was suggested that any increase be accompanied with a letter explaining how the funds would be allocated. There is currently 100 percent occupancy at the hangars, with a waiting list.
No action was taken, because the City Council member assigned to the commission was not at the meeting.
Also during the meeting, Piatt said a used snow blower/broom that was recently purchased has been put to use.
“It takes you down to dry pavement,” Piatt said. “We had three jet operations right after the snow. If it wasn’t for the broom, they wouldn’t have landed.”
The city’s website said the Delaware Municipal Airport Jim Moore Field “is home to approximately 80 aircraft and handles an estimated 40,000 operations per year, including corporate activity, training and pleasure flying.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.