U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a $6.2 million grant to construct a new runway at the Robert J. Miller-Ocean County Airport in Berkeley Township, N.J.
“Investing in our nation’s airports promotes economic growth,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Thisfundingwill help theairportmake critical infrastructure improvements to enhance operations year-round.”
The grant will fund the first phase of a new 3,600-foot-long asphalt runway and taxiway, including site preparation, environmental mitigation, electrical work, and paving for a section of the new runway.
The new runway 14/32, which will cross the existing runway, will provide greater flexibility for smaller aircraft. A second runway will increase efficiency, especially during the winter when prevailing northwest winds limit operations on the airport’s existing 6,000-foot-long runway, 6/24.
“The new runway will enhance efficiency at the airport all year long,” Acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta said. “This is an important investment in a vital South Jersey airport.”
Approximately 100 aircraft are based at the airport, including aerial firefighting teams, a Civil Air Patrol unit, emergency service aircraft, and corporate and recreational aircraft. A total of 31,000 takeoffs and landings occur annually.
The $6.2 million grant from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) helps fund the first phase of the runway project, which will be completed in late 2013, with Ocean County providing the remaining $700,000 toward the total $6.9 million cost. Phase two of the project will begin in 2013, and is expected to be completed late in 2014.
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides $3.35 billion in annual funding for airport improvement projects that are vital to maintaining the safety, capacity, and environmental stewardship of our nation’s airports. More than 3,300 airports are eligible for AIP grants benefiting commercial passengers, cargo operations, and general aviation activities throughout the nation.