Press Releases

Sussex County Airport Receives Federal Aviation Administration Grant to Extend Runway

Runway extension will bring job growth to Sussex County

Sep 02 2011

WILMINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) announced a $723,900 grant award to Sussex County to extend the main runway at the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown, Del. This grant will provide engineering and design funding for a project to extend the runway 500 feet to 5,500 feet, improve approaches and lighting, and bring it up to Federal Aviation Administration standards.

The Sussex County Airport is a general aviation airport that serves Georgetown and Sussex County and is owned by Sussex County Council. The airport has two paved runways. Currently, the longest runway is 5,000 feet and accommodates private aircraft and planes up to the size of a Boeing 737. This runway extension will allow the airport to accommodate larger planes, ensure safe operation in varying conditions and attract more aeronautical-based businesses to Sussex County.

Sen. Carper has been leading the effort to secure the approvals for this project that has the potential to bring more business and jobs to the local economy.

"Receiving the funding from the Federal Aviation Administration is the first step in securing the future for the Sussex County Airport," said Sen. Carper. "The airport will be able to accommodate larger planes and therefore bring in more business and job opportunities to Sussex County. That is just the kind of project we should be focusing our attention on right now as we strive to put Delawareans back to work. I always say that the role of government is to provide a nurturing environment for job creation, and infrastructure development like this is a great example of government working to do just that."

"Businesses are drawn to regions with well maintained, highly integrated transportation infrastructure," said Sen. Coons. "Delaware is known for its ports, railroads, and highway system to quickly transport commodities and now, thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration funding, Sussex County Airport will be better equipped to accommodate large aircraft able to draw new business and jobs to the area. This funding gets to the heart of one of my key priorities for accelerating our nation's economic recovery: investing in America's infrastructure, which will not only strengthen our long-term global competitiveness, but also creates good jobs for Americans."

"The additional runway length will provide our current large aircraft operators additional range and payload options, as well as an added margin of safety," said Airport Manager Jim Hickin.

"The County appreciates this support as we move forward with this phase of the project which supports our goal to enable businesses at our airport to expand," said Sussex County Administrator David Baker.

###