WASHINGTON The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a $535,804 grant for the Norwalk-Huron County Airport, U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Tiffin) announced Friday.
These funds, made available by Congress, will be used to enhance overall safety and efficiency as well as improve the infrastructure of the Norwalk-Huron County airfield.
In particular, grant monies will be directed towards several projects including:
Acquisition of land for approach protection and to prevent incompatible land use, approximately 48 acres.
Rehabilitation of the taxiway.
Design and rehabilitation of the apron.
Design airport drainage improvements.
Huron County Commissioner Mike Adelman said this is great news.
"This was a tedious but worthwhile effort by the airport board to obtain the land for the airport," he said. "This is very good for the airport and the county. This makes it a more viable part for economic growth in Huron County. Again, the credit goes to the airport board and their efforts."
Gillmor agreed. "With tightening resources, receiving money from the federal government has become much more difficult as the demand for help has outpaced the available funds," the congressman said. "Now more than ever, it is important to focus our resources on projects which protect public health and welfare.
"These federal funds will provide a great opportunity for businesses to consider investing even more into our community. The grant will improve the safety of the airfield and relieve the financial burden on the people of Huron County.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said: "Aviation is fundamental to America's economy and to our quality of life. Aviation contributes to our freedom of mobility at the same time it is crucial to the national defense."
Commissioners met last week with representatives from Erie County and FAA about a possible regional airport at NASA Plum Brook in Sandusky. A new airport would force Huron County to give up its FAA certification and all of the funding that goes with it.
Adelman said he's happy with what the county already has.
"As it stands right now, our airport is providing benefit to our county, and this (the grant) could provide additional benefit," Adelman said. "Looking at a regional airport, that would have to give us more benefit (above and beyond what we already have) for anything to happen."