Springfield airport receives over $500K in federal and state grants

The Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport has been awarded a total of more than $500,000 in federal and state grants so far this year.

The bulk of that money will go towards repairing and rehabilitating the airport’s runways as well as other design and engineering work.

Some of those projects are slated to begin within this month, including maintaining the airport’s main runway that is 1.7 miles long.

Roughly $186,000 in federal grant funding will be used for crack seal and joint repair for that runway. Another $31,600 in state funding will be used to remove trees that grow at the end of the runway and can be an obstruction, according to Tom Franzen, the director of economic development for the city of Springfield.

That work is slated to be completed by the end of the year, Franzen said. Once construction on the main runway begins, city officials expect limited closures to accommodate construction crews.

The grant funding awarded this year to the local airport comes from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the Ohio Department of Transportation, city officials said on Monday.

“The grants facilitate upkeep of some of the airport’s vital systems, and this allows us to give more attention to operations,” said Springfield-Beckley Airport Manager Seth Timmerman in a Monday news release.

The airport has been a regional hub for private pilots, businesses and the military for more than 50 years. It’s the closest general aviation center to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Springfield News-Sun previously reported.

In addition to work being done on the airport’s main runway, $278,000 of federal grant dollars will be directed towards the airport’s crosswind runway, which is a little over a mile long.

That money will be used for the design and engineering phase of a larger project that will repave and rehabilitate that runway, Franzen said. He added that they are working with the airport’s aerospace consultant Woolpert.

The design and engineering phase for that project is slated to wrap up at the beginning of 2021. However, the city and the local airport will have to apply for another grant in order to secure funding for the construction phase, which will include new pavement as well as new lights along the runway.

Some of the money awarded to the Springfield airport this year by the FAA is being used for payroll assistance and operating costs.

This news organization reported in July that those federal dollars were being used primarily for payroll assistance. That assistance can be used to help avoid reduction in pay for the airport’s three full-time employees, including its manager.

The FAA awarded $69,000 to the Springfield airport for payroll assistance and other operating cost using money from the CARES Act. The federal legislation passed by congress in March was designed in part to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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