Springfield to apply for more than $1M in grants for airport runway improvements

Springfield Municipal Airport. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Springfield Municipal Airport. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Taxiway upgrade, runway lighting replacement focus of requests.

The City of Springfield is looking to secure over $1 million in grants related to several runway projects at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

Those grants if approved would come from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division. City officials were recently approved to complete two applications for that money that would go towards two projects at the airport.

One for an amount of up to $1,259,700 and the other is for an amount of up to $277,685.

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The larger project with the higher grant request is related to the replacement of a taxiway that can be used by aircraft to enter and exit the airport’s primary runway.

The taxiway that is slated to be replaced and is known as Taxiway C does not currently meet airport design standards set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration. It does not connect to the runway at a right angle, which is recommended by the FAA.

The idea is by changing that as well as updating the taxiway, which has been described as beyond repair due to its age, it will provide pilots a better visual perspective when approaching the runway, said Seth Timmerman, the airport manager for Springfield-Beckley.

In turn, it will decrease confusion as well as the risk of a runway incursion, Timmerman added.

The project, which aims to remove Taxiway C and reconstruct a new one that will meet FAA standards, is expected to cost about $1.3 million.

Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck was approved by Springfield commissioners last week to apply for a grant from ODOT in an amount of up to $1,259,700 for the taxiway project.

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If approved, that grant money would cover roughly 95% of the project’s slated cost with the city pitching in an additional $66,300, Timmerman added.

If the grant application is approved, the goal is start construction in the Spring of 2022.

The second project pertains to the replacement of lighting that serves as a path indicator for pilots on the airport’s main runway.

“Precision Approach Path Indicator is a visual aid for pilots to maintain the correct approach path to a runway. Springfield-Beckley’s PAPI’s on (the main runway) have surpassed their useful life and have become costly to maintain,” Timmerman said.

The project is slated to cost $351,500 and if approved the ODOT grant would cover $277,685 of it. Construction is slated to start in the Spring of 2022 if funding is secured.

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