Wayne County Airport receives 5 million to upgrade taxiway
WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Sept. 26, 2019 — The Wayne County Airport will receive a grant for $5,030,110 from the U.S. Department of Transportation under their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The money is designated for use to design and construct a full-length parallel taxiway at the airport this fiscal year.
According to airport manager Amanda McGee, the taxiway will be lengthened to the entire length of the runway, approximately one mile. Currently, the taxiway extends only about halfway down the runway and presents safety issues. "Our general aviation aircraft have to taxi to the runway, then enter the runway and taxi the rest of the way down the runway to be able to take off using runway one-zero."
McGee explained that an aircraft entering the runway halts all other traffic landing and taking off which creates a dangerous situation for pilots operating an aircraft without radio communications and is unaware of the situation on the ground.
"Not all aircraft are mandated to have radios," McGee continued. "We have seen that situation occur here and it is a huge safety concern."
Securing the grant has taken more than five years according to Wayne County Planning Director Trevor Hunt and will allow the project to move forward to completion rather than taking place in phases.
"The grant has certainly made this a doable project," Hunt said. "If we didn't have the grant, this project would have been pieced together over another 10-year period. Now, it is being done in one fell swoop."
The project also paves the way for the possibility of corporate hangars to be built. The airport supports $21.8 million in economic output for Northeast Ohio businesses and 148 jobs in the county. “We want to thank Congressman Gonzalez’ office and the FAA for their assistance obtaining this grant. The taxiway project is creating a buzz in the aviation community, said Wayne County Commissioner Sue Smail. “We have already been contacted by individuals interested in locating at the airport and perhaps building hangars. We are thrilled with the grant award and look forward to starting construction next spring.”