Airport Runway Project Scores Federal Grant

SALISBURY — The Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport got a fiscal shot in the arm last week when Wicomico County was awarded a $2.5 million federal grant for a major runway rehabilitation project and other improvements aimed at keeping it a viable transportation hub on the Lower Shore for decades to come.
U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin late last week announced Wicomico County had been awarded a $2.5 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a major runway rehabilitation project at the Salisbury airport. The funding, which is administered through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, will be used for Phase I of the rehabilitation project for cross-wind Runway 5-23 at the Salisbury airport.
“Our regional airports play a key role in maintaining Maryland’s robust economy,” said Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds Department of Transportation projects. “These funds in the federal checkbook mean improvements to the Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport runway infrastructure that are critical to keeping the Eastern Shore’s economy moving and Marylanders on the go.”
During Phase I, about one-third of the runway’s sub-base and pavement surfaces will be rehabilitated. In addition, the runway’s edge lighting and navigational aids will also be updated. Phases II and III of the major rehabilitation project are expected in 2014 and 2015. Once all phases are completed, the runway will be able to accommodate all aircraft types expected to operate at the Salisbury airport through 2040.
“Airports on the Eastern Shore keep our regional economy growing with strong businesses and good jobs,” said Cardin. “We need to do all we can to maintain safety and improve efficiency so they can better serve the neighboring communities. I am proud that we can continue to deliver federal investments that will enhance flight operations at Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport.”
The FAA’s program provides federal funding for the planning and development of public-use airports that are significant to national travel and included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. AIP funds are supported by user fees, fuel taxes and other similar revenue sources. The funds can be used for exterior capital improvements and repairs including new runways, aprons lighting, planning and land purchases.