Delaware airport receives federal grant

An airport in Kent County has received a $5 million federal grant for improvements and upgrades.

The Delaware Airpark serves as a multi-use airport for both corporate and recreational flying in central Delaware. It’s home to the Delaware State University Aviation program and serves as a flight training base for the Air Force ROTC program. It’s also utilized by the Department of Interior and NASA.

The multimillion dollar grant will help the airport with a multi-year project to expand the airport by constructing a new runway, its parallel taxiway, connector taxiways and apron system.

“The improvements will not only create jobs, but it will provide a better training facility for students at DSU, and services to the Department of the Interior and NASA,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware. “This is a great example of the federal government creating a nurturing environment for job growth and job training on the local level.”

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The award announcement comes as lawmakers at the national level push for more infrastructure investments.

“Investing in our roads, bridges, highways and our airports lead to economic opportunities,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware. “As Delaware Airpark continues to develop, it means more job opportunities and significant improvements for the aviation students at Delaware State University and commercial entities who utilize the airport.”

The investment will also help the region be more competitive for business.

“A runway extension at Delaware Airpark helps the airport compete for business regionally, enhances Delaware State University’s pilot training courses, and puts Kent County in a better position to take advantage of economic opportunities,” said U.S. Rep. John Carney, D-Delaware.

Investing in infrastructure has been a hot topic at both the local and national levels this summer. Last month, President Barack Obama made a stop in Delaware to promote his new Build America Investment Initiative, which, he said, would increase private sector investments in infrastructure and spur economic growth.

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