Delaware Coastal Airport lands federal grant for lighting upgrades

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GEORGETOWN – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Representative John Carney on Thursday announced a $550,000 grant award from the Federal Aviation Administration to Sussex County to install taxiway lighting at the Delaware Coastal Airport, formerly the Sussex County Airport.

This grant award is a part of ongoing improvements at the airport to extend the runway to accommodate larger aircraft and encourage business growth in the region.

This project will fund the installation of approximately 2,900 feet of a new Taxiway B lighting system to enhance safe airfield operations during low visibility conditions. The project will include an upgrade of the airfield electrical vaults.

The airport, a former Navy airfield, is a general aviation facility popular with pilots of small single-engine aircraft and corporate jets. It serves as a transportation gateway for numerous businesses and corporations in the county, including employers in the Sussex County Industrial Park.

The complex is a vital economic engine in Sussex County, employing approximately 1,100 people who work in everything from manufacturing and poultry processing to storage and distribution. It is also home to Delaware Technical & Community College’s aircraft maintenance education program.

“Investments in the Delaware Coastal Airport are investments to the Delaware economy” said Sen. Carper. “Enhancing the airport to attract larger aircraft will ultimately attract more aircraft operators to the Georgetown airport, who can use it as their ‘home’ airport. The funding from the county, state and Federal Aviation Administration further the Delegation’s efforts to make the airport an economic driver for Sussex County.”

“Continuing to invest in our infrastructure is an integral role in helping businesses grow, creating jobs and sustaining the economy,” Sen. Coons said. “This federal grant for lighting upgrades is great news for pilots and the crews who staff the airport, while continuing to develop the airport’s role in the region, and expanding the economy of Sussex County at the same time.”

“The Delaware Coastal Airport is already a tremendous facility for smaller aircraft, and a very important part of Sussex County’s economy,” said Rep. Carney.  “This FAA grant for a new lighting system will allow the airport to grow, bring in more customers, and create more jobs.  It’s a win for Sussex County, the Delaware Coastal Airport’s customers, and the hundreds of Delawareans who go to work there every day”

“The County is always appreciative of the support it receives from our Congressional delegation,” Sussex County Council President Michael H. Vincent said. “This funding for the runway lighting project is yet another example of that unwavering support from Sens. Carper and Coons and Congressman Carney. Thanks to this grant funding and the delegation’s assistance, the airport, our users, and the general public will continue to reap the benefits of a safer, more modern facility.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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