Schenectady County

Schenectady County Airport runway in line for upgrade

The smaller of two runways at the Schenectady County Airport is slated for an upgrade.

The smaller of two runways at the Schenectady County Airport is slated for an upgrade.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $181,710 for the design phase of the rehabilitation project, which will ensure safer airfield operations by improving the structural integrity of the pavement and removing foreign objects and debris from the runway. U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko helped secure the funding.

“This grant will allow us to plan and design significant upgrades to this runway,” said county Legislator Anthony Jasenski in a news release. “And when combined with other investments in and around the airport will continue the momentum created by our unified economic development team within the Airport Business and Technology Park and up and down Route 50.”

The airport off Route 50 in Glenville has received a slew of upgrades over the years, as the county-owned Airport Business Park has grown in size and activity.

In 2011, the taxiway was expanded 10,000 square feet to connect the flight line to a three-acre site for new hangars. The same year, Tech Park Road was extended 185 feet to connect it to another road that services the airport tower, providing access to shovel-ready sites across 23 acres.

In 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded $800,000 to improve runway infrastructure at the airport.

County spokesman Joe McQueen on Wednesday said he was unsure whether the main north-south runway has been repaved recently, but that the smaller east-west runway has not been paved in at least 20 years.

“This just helps with our general maintenance and upgrades at the airport to make sure we maintain the safety required there,” he said.

A construction timeline has not been set as the project is still in the design phase, he said. Renovations will also include an upgraded lighting system along the edges of the airport.

The funding announced this week is administered through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan on Integrated Airport Systems.

“Investing in key infrastructure helps create lasting sustainability in our communities,” Gillibrand said in a news release. “The Schenectady County Airport will use this important investment to design the rehabilitation of one of the airport’s most critical structures, its runway. Once implemented, this project would help ensure safer airport operations for the thousands of passengers that travel through the airport each year.”

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