SBY airport using CARES Act funds to revamp taxiway

SALISBURY, Md. – The Ocean City Salisbury Wicomico Regional Airport will be getting a face lift pretty soon thanks to federal funding. Airport officials say the upgrade to the taxiways will help maintain safety at the airport. “We decided that we should go ahead and continue with this project to finish this project because it is important and the pavement is starting to deteriorate – and we don’t want to have problems down the line,” said Airport Manager Tony Rudy.

The airport will be continuing work on repaving and partially reconstructing their taxiway. That’s thanks to more than $1.1 million in federal CARES Act aid. “That enables the local community to move forward immediately in building this project and not having to worry about how they come up with what would ordinarily be the local share of the project,” said FAA Associate Administrator for Airports Kirk Shaffer.

Rudy says the pavement will be redone and some corners of the taxiway will be adjusted to meet FAA standards. “As you’re going around that corner on the inside of the corner obviously the corner is going to be closer to the edge of the pavement. So the FAA has design standards,” said Rudy.

Plus – Rudy says that repaving the taxiway will help to reduce debris like rocks and loose pavement from damaging aircraft. “That could actually get sucked up into either a jet engine or picked up by propellers and do damage to the propellers,” said Rudy.

Shaffer says the airport had to meet a number of qualifications before being awarded the grant. “How wide does the taxiway need to be? How far does the taxiway need to be separated from the runway that it supports?” said Shaffer.

Shaffer tells 47ABC that the FAA is committed to making sure that small, local airports are getting the money they need to operate safely and successfully. “The role of small and rural airports like the Salisbury, Maryland airport is every bit as important the large airports that you might typically think of,” said Shaffer.

Airport officials say that the project will be started later on this summer and should be complete by the winter. Rudy says that the airport is working with the FAA to get funding for other upcoming projects.  “We’re working closely with the FAA on a lot of the CARES funding – not only to maintain our day to day operations here, keep the airport going. But we’re also working with them for some upcoming projects we have,” said Rudy.

Shaffer says that more of that federal funding will be coming out in the next few months. Airports across the country could see up to $1.1 billion.

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