New Garden Flying Field to receive $1.2 million federal grant
● By Lev
The New Garden Flying Field has received a $1.2 million federal grant, that will be used to improve its runway.
By Richard L. Gaw
The New Garden Flying Field in Toughkenamon was one of three Chester County airports to receive a total of $3.3 million in federal funding that will be used to pay for development projects at the airports. The announcement was made on July 16 by Sen. Andy Dinniman.
The funding comes through PennDOT's aviation development program and the Federal Aviation Administration's block grant program. The grants are part of an $18 million state and federal investment that will improve safety and operations at 35 airports in Pennsylvania, and support more than 2,600 jobs statewide.
New Garden Flying Field will receive $1.2 million, which will be dedicated to the second phase of improvements to its runway, and will include the clearing of trees, the addition of electrical banks, and the complete excavation of the safety area – all being done to bring the runway up to current safety standards. The work includes widening the runway to 60 feet from its current width of 50 feet. The first phase of the runway project included the design of the project, which was completed last year.
“This grant allows us to make huge safety improvement for our operations here at the airport,” said Jon Martin, New Garden Flying Field manager. “The runway for an airport is a primary asset, and we're bringing our current runway up to standards.”
Martin said that work on the project will begin once the federal funding is allocated. The project's third phase, which he estimated will cost $3 million, will include paving of the runway.
In addition to the grant for the New Garden Flying Field, the Chester County/G.O. Carlson Airport received $2 million to remove obstructions and complete its apron construction, and the Brandywine Airport received $158,333 to study the feasibility of acquiring a precision approach that helps increase access and safety during poor weather conditions.
Public-use airports like New Garden are eligible for the PennDOT aviation development program.