Local airports land FAA project funding

MARK GUTMAN/DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTOThe Genesee County Airport will be able to remove unsafe hangars and be up to speed with Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Federal funding of $126,000 will help Genesee County remove airport hangars that obstruct safety and $465,000 will help the Perry-Warsaw Airport with construction of a snow removal equipment building.

“This is for the last two obstruction hangars from when the county bought the airport. It’s always been part of our long-term safety plan ... Those hangars were much too close to our expanded runway and taxiway,” said County Manager Jay Gsell. “This is giving us the ability to get rid of the last obstructions on the entire footprint of the airport.”

Gsell said the airport’s five-year plan and airport improvement program (AIP) has always focused on what affects safety, but also traveler-specific issues, such as takeoffs and landings.

“We’re at the point with all the new building, the new runway and taxiway, the lighting and all the new safety features, this is the last piece. We are an intermediate airport between Rochester and Buffalo,” he said, adding that’s why it’s important for the county to have its airport up-to-speed regarding FAA requirements.

Sometimes, those hangars had asbestos in the shingles and doors were not working right, Gsell said.

“I think there’s only two (hangars) left. I can’t tell you that I’ve been up there and driven by lately, but I think that’s what we’re down to,” he said.

Gsell said he’s pretty sure the plans for the removal are in place, but didn’t know the timeline for doing the work. He said the county will bid out the work.

“It’s just a matter of getting the funding and getting it so it can be in the construction schedule and the bids go out to do it,” Gsell said. “The FAA is pretty expeditious on reimbursing us.”

The money comes through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The total amount awarded nationally and to four territories by President Donald Trump’s administration is about $800 million, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday.

“This nearly $800 million Federal investment in airport infrastructure will strengthen safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide many economic benefits for local communities,” said Chao.

The total includes $689 million from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and $104.4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grants to equal a 100 percent federal share.

“These 383 grants will allow airport sponsors to either begin or complete construction projects that will maintain the safety and efficiency of our national airport system,” said FAA Administrator Stephen M. Dickson.

These grants will be used for a variety of critical infrastructure and safety projects. Some of the projects include purchasing aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, constructing runways and taxiways, repairing runways and taxiways, installing aircraft lighting and signage, conducting airport master plan studies, and installing airport perimeter fencing.

A complete listing of grants and an interactive map of airports receiving funding is available on the FAA website, https://www.faa.gov/.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1