Delaware airport finally gets runway extension

Despite a number of setbacks, including the recent shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown is finally getting what it wants — a 500′ runway extension.

“The additional runway length will provide our current large aircraft operators additional range and payload options, as well as an added margin of safety,” said Airport Manager Jim Hickin.

Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) announced, Friday, the FAA is awarding a $723,900 grant to Sussex County for its main runway extension, which currently sits at 5000 feet.

“Receiving the funding from the Federal Aviation Administration is the first step in securing the future for the Sussex County Airport,” said Sen. Carper. “The airport will be able to accommodate larger planes and therefore bring in more business and job opportunities to Sussex County.”

The money not only extends the runway, but also improves approaches and lighting, and brings it up to FAA standards.

“Businesses are drawn to regions with well maintained, highly integrated transportation infrastructure,” said Sen. Coons. “This funding gets to the heart of one of my key priorities for accelerating our nation’s economic recovery: investing in America’s infrastructure, which will not only strengthen our long-term global competitiveness, but also creates good jobs for Americans.”

The Sussex County Airport serves Georgetown and Sussex County and is owned by Sussex County Council. The airport has two paved runways and accommodates private aircraft and planes up to the size of a Boeing 737.

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) has been a big backer of the project. The story of the airport expansion was profiled on a recent broadcast of First on WHYY-TV.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal