The Plymouth Airport will get a wider runway and more improvements thanks to an FAA grant worth $2.2 million. Matching funds from the city and state of $126,805 each brings the total to a little over $2.5 million.
Mayor Mark Senter said the project has been in the works for many years but the current infrastructure needed to be upgraded before the runway could be restructured.
“We had buildings here in awful shape,” explained Mayor Senter. There were garage doors that would barely open, roofs that leaked, dimly lit hangers with airplanes that shivered in the cold winter, cracked sidewalks, an office area styled for the 1970s, and a pilot’s lounge that was indescribable. Let’s fix what we have first, then we can start talking about a mile-long runway.”
In a short four year period of time, a new roof, heating and air conditioning, signage, sidewalks, landscaping, pilot’s quarters and a lobby were realized totaling over $500,000.
Senter added that without those improvements this grant may not have been possible.
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski supported the project which she said will bring jobs and economic growth to the area.
“One of the things we realized a long time ago was that it takes a whole team to work on projects like this to be able to leverage outside money in and then to have some matching funds inside,” commented Walorski. “I think we also realized that as this economy continues to recover and as Plymouth grows and things like an airport infrastructure grows so does everything else. We are just taking yet another step forward in plans to continue to take care of and to expand what the Plymouth Airport means to the regional economy.”
Plymouth Aviation Board President Phil Bockman noted that business has picked up at the airport which means economic growth and the potential for more development in the future.
The runway project is expected to begin in the spring.