The Dayton International Airport will use a portion of a $8 million federal grant to create a master plan to lay out goals and future construction needs for the facility.
Thirteen Ohio airports will receive $12.7 million as part of the third allotment of a total $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program funding.
The Dayton airport received two separate grants— one for $1.26 million to update the master plan study and one for $6.74 million to purchase a firefighting vehicle and snow removal equipment along with rehabilitating an apron where aircraft are parked, unloaded, loaded, refueled and boarded.
“Through the support of the FAA, we are able to maintain and modernize the facility, and maintain the Dayton International Airport as a viable economic engine of the Dayton region and Southwest Ohio,” said Mike Cross, acting planning and engineering manager for Dayton’s Department of Aviation.
The Dayton airport will purchase three brooms and two loaders to help remove snow and will buy a fire engine valued at nearly $693,000. The safety enhancements are important to keep runways, taxiways and aprons safe for landing and departing during bad weather conditions and to keep quick response times in case of emergency, Cross said.
Some of the equipment that will be replaced is from the ’80s, he said. The airport cycles out equipment every 15 or so years.
A new master plan study will also be conducted using the funds, updating the last study from 2015.
“One of the ways that you keep federal grant money flowing toward your airport is to have a current master plan on file,” said FAA Associate Administrator for Airports Kirk Shaffer.
The legwork is done and the funds should be paid to area airports quickly, Shaffer said.
Airport leaders expect the grant money in the coming weeks, Cross said. Then the Dayton airport will begin awarding contracts with construction projects expected to begin next spring or summer and vehicle purchases to be initiated within this year.
Dayton’s primary entitlement for 2019 was just shy of $4 million, according to FAA documents. The entitlement funding is determined by the number of passengers that board planes at each airport and the amount of cargo the airport supports, Shaffer said.
The $8 million is a combination of this year’s nearly $4 million and rollover money from last year, Cross said. The airport was behind on the second phase of its apron reconstruction, so it decided to hold off on the third phase last year and receive and use the money this year.
The Dayton Airport has also been working on other improvement projects in recent months, including a more than $25 million terminal renovation. Now in its final phase, the terminal renovations debuted a full glass and steel exterior with a glass canopy to bring in more natural light, terrazzo flooring, wider TSA exit lanes, new restrooms and a new USO space for traveling military members, retired military members and their families.
Those renovations already completed in the center and south portions of the airport terminal will continue to the north side during the final phase. A new concierge and information desk, an Aviator Joe Café’ coffee kiosk that serves Starbucks near the center entrance and a glass shelter for valet parking are also in the works.
Other area airports will also be receiving grants including $273,735 to the Grimes Field Urbana Municipal Airport for taxiway extension, $189,959 to the Bellefontaine Regional Airport for apron rehabilitation, $180,000 to Sidney City Airport for apron construction and runway rehabilitation and $81,450 to the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport for runway rehabilitation.
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