Senators Carper, Coons announce $5 million grant to expand Delaware Airpark

Additional money will be used to expand runway, improve safety for pilots

Cheswold, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons (D-Del.) were joined by Delaware State University President Dr. Harry Williams, Delaware River and Bay Authority Airport Administrator Stephen Williams and Captain Dave Harding, alumni of DSU’s aviation program and current UPS pilot, to announce another $5,813,539 million dollar grant to update and expand the Delaware Airpark.

The overall project will provide for a runway, taxiway and apron system that has no obstruction of the FAR Part 77 surfaces and will also provide the capacity for adequate runway length and will expand the airport to meet the current and anticipated demand. Delaware Airpark serves the general aviation needs of central Delaware and the Capital city of Dover, including the aircraft of the Delaware State University Aviation Program. It hosts clients such as the Department of Interior and NASA. It also serves a congestion-relief role for corporate traffic at the Civil Air Terminal at Dover Air Force Base.

“As a retired naval flight officer, I understand the positive impacts aviation has on our nation,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “The general aviation industry contributes more than $150 billion annually to our economy and employs more than 1.2 million people throughout the country. This grant award will help the Delaware Airpark expand and attract new clients to the area, and hopefully businesses in the surrounding area will also reap these benefits.”

“This is great news for the Delaware Airpark, DRBA, and the many pilots who use this airport on a daily basis,” said Sen. Coons. “The improvements that will be made on the runway, and other aspects of the airport will improve pilot safety for years to come. This project is also about updating our nation’s infrastructure. When we think about infrastructure, we think roads and bridges, but here we have a great example of what we can achieve when we invest in our airports as well.”

DSU Harry L. Williams said about 75 current professional pilot students and those who follow them will have a safer airport environment in which to earn their flying certifications.

“Our DSU aviation students will benefit greatly from the improvements, especially the longer runway that will eliminate a power line obstacle they have to currently deal with in landing and taking off,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams. “As the University continues to produce professional pilots whose proficiencies have resulted in a 100% hiring rate, DSU, the Delaware River & Bay Authority, the Delaware Congressional delegation and the federal government can all share in the credit for helping in its success.”

“On behalf of the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commissioners and staff, we would like to thank the FAA and Delaware’s Congressional delegation for their support of this important aviation infrastructure project, a project that is more than ten years in the making,” said Stephen Williams, Airports Director for the Authority. “The funding will be used to construct a new east-west runway and parallel taxiway system consistent with the airport’s master plan that is necessary for continued aviation success and business development growth at the facility. The project illustrates Delaware’s ongoing commitment to the aviation business sector.”

Construction is currently underway.