Sussex County airport gets $5.5M FAA grant


U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) on Sept. 19 announced a $5.5 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant award to the Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown.

The grant will be used to construct a parallel taxiway to improve the approach system for landing aircraft. The Delaware Coastal Airport is part of a long-term expansion plan to bring larger aircrafts and increased business to Sussex County.

“Over the past eight years, both the FAA and Sussex County have invested significant funds in the Delaware Coastal Airport and, in turn, have made significant investments in Delaware’s economy,” said Carper.

“This additional $5.5 million in federal funding will continue our efforts to create a nurturing environment for job creation in the First State and promote much-needed infrastructure development. I look forward to continued partnerships between the FAA and Sussex County in order to support efforts like this that upgrade facilities in Sussex County and help drive our economy.”

“Sussex County officials have worked hard to make improvements to the Delaware Coastal Airport to help attract businesses and support jobs at places like Aloft AeroArchitechts,” said Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This grant is a great example of why I fight for funding for FAA grants, which help airports like Delaware Coastal expand to track with the growth of the region.”

“As Delaware’s economy continues to develop, it is critical that our infrastructure keeps pace with it,” said Blunt Rochester. “The FAA’s much-needed grant award is an important step for improving safety and will help drive additional commercial activity at the Delaware Coastal Airport.

“This infrastructure upgrade is critical to Sussex County, our economic development work, and securing quality jobs for Delawareans. I look forward to continued partnership to ensure we are making strategic investments in infrastructure to help keep Delaware an attractive and competitive place for our business community.”

“Sussex County is thankful for the federal government’s financial assistance, and especially for our congressional delegation’s continued efforts to ensure Delaware Coastal Airport remains a safe, up-to-date facility for the small and corporate aircraft that use it daily,” said County Council President Michael H. Vincent. “Projects like the construction of the new parallel taxiway will keep our airport competitive and help make Sussex County even more attractive to the general aviation and business communities.”

The Delaware Coastal Airport is a general-aviation airport that serves Georgetown and Sussex County and is owned by Sussex County. A former Navy airfield, it currently serves as a transportation gateway for businesses and corporations around the country.

The new taxiway will be used to develop an RNAV (“aRea NAVigation”) — a method of instrument flight rules (IFR) navigation utilizing GPS that enables a pilots to guide their aircraft to a safe landing in low-visibility situations.

Over the past decade, the FAA has invested nearly $40 million in the airport for various projects, including extending its runway and installing taxiway lighting as part of ongoing improvements to encourage business growth.