Sussex County Airport Runway Reopens - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Airport Runway Reopens

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Painting crews work on striping the pavement on the soutwest end of Runway 4-22 of the Sussex County Airport. (Photo: Sussex County Government) Painting crews work on striping the pavement on the soutwest end of Runway 4-22 of the Sussex County Airport. (Photo: Sussex County Government)
By Brett Wright

GEORGETOWN
, Del.– After a six-week maintenance project kept it closed, the Sussex County Airport’s main runway is once again open.

County officials said that crews this week finished working on a $4.7 million project to repave and repaint the main runway at the facility, located east of Georgetown.  The 5,500-foot-long main runway was closed from April 9 until late last night.  The runway finally reopened after the main surface was milled and 15,000 tons of new, 2-inch-thick asphalt was laid down.  During the time of construction, a shorter adjoining runway remained open for smaller planes.

Officials said the project is part of an $8.8 million effort to improve the airport in a variety of ways.  The improvements include enhanced lighting, obstruction removal, and a main runway extension.  The extension, completed in fall 2013, brought the runway’s total length from 5,000 to 5,500 feet.  The federal government funded 90 percent of the costs.
 
“This repaving project should make for a smoother and cleaner surface for aircraft to land on and take off from,” said Jim Hickin, director of airport and industrial park operations. “Just like a home, a car, or even an aircraft, you have to keep up on maintenance, and that’s what this was.”

Officials said that prior to this repaving effort, the runway had not been upgraded since 1994.  Hickin reports that the life expectancy of the runway is 20 years.

The general aviation airport, owned by Sussex County, reports up to 35,000 annual take-offs and landings with aircraft sizes anywhere from a single-engine plane up to Boeing 737s.

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