Cuts Would Delay, Derail Projects
As AVweb told you a couple of weeks ago, the potential loss of the AIP money is a serious concern to many local airport authorities. Maryland, for example, seems to recognize the positive influence of general aviation, particularly to the tourism-driven economy of the Eastern Shore, and several airports in that area are undergoing some kind of improvement or expansion. The various airport authorities are looking for about a total of $10 million in federal funding for the projects, which range from runway expansions to equipment repairs. A reduction in grants could prolong the work. "If Congress does reduce spending, it would not stop our extension; (rather) the project would be funded over two years, although we anticipated a single-year grant," Robert Bryant, manager of the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport told the Salisbury Daily Times. The Salisbury Airport is in the middle of a three-phase project to extend the existing 5,500-foot runway by 900 feet. The Cambridge-Dorchester Airport is embarking on an ambitious $11 million expansion of its facilities and is hoping for $5.3 million from the feds and cuts would mean compromises. "It could be that we'd use an old lighting system, maybe not replace a fence," Manager Don Satterfield told the Daily Times. "It might mean that we'd have to stretch out the length of time to expand."