DelDOT Proposes Moving Park Avenue, Opens Door for Runway Expans - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DelDOT Proposes Moving Park Avenue, Opens Door for Runway Expansion

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Alternative 1 (Source: DelDOT) Alternative 1 (Source: DelDOT)
Alternative 2 (Source: DelDOT) Alternative 2 (Source: DelDOT)
Alternative 3 (Source: DelDOT) Alternative 3 (Source: DelDOT)

GEORGETOWN, Del. - At the Delaware Coastal Airport, managers have long eyed an expansion of the runway from 5,500 feet to 6,000 feet, but there has always been a roadblock. A 6,000-foot roadblock would end right in the middle of Park Avenue, which runs adjacent to the property. This road is a needed truck route, according to the Department of Transportation. 

"The literal roadblock is a road," said Airport Manager Jim Hickin. "We need the road out of the end of the runway... Soon as that happens, we'll be able to start design." 

Now after years of discussion, at a  meeting earlier this month, DelDOT has offered some preliminary proposals for moving that road, which would open the door for a runway expansion. At a public workshop in early August, DelDOT released three proposals, all of which would loop away from the property, to leave room for the runway expansion. 

While the runway expansion is a factor, DelDOT listed three main benefits to the project, on their website

- Improvement of traffic and safety operations

- Promotion of economic growth

- Consistency with Federal, State, and Local Initiatives

Director of Planning at DelDOT, Drew Boyce, said that the final product is likely still six years away, with an anticipated date of construction in FY 2022 or FY 2023. 

"Right now we're in the very early concepts," he said. "So the public meeting was just to unveil the crayon lines on a map to say these are the ideas we're looking at."

At Aloft AeroArchitects, previously known as Pats Aircraft, news of the possible runway expansion was well-received. The company currently services 737's. However CEO John Martin said that a longer runway would allow them to take in 757's as well. If the runway were expanded, the company would build a larger hanger to jump into that market. 

"It means more jobs to the infrastructure," said Martin. "More jobs to the county supporting us, and supporting the employees that would be here."

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