Ohio University’s airport is getting a facelift thanks to some federal dollars from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, announced in a news release Tuesday that the Gordon K. Bush airport, 747 Columbia Rd. in Albany, will receive $2,290,897 of federal money in order to finance repairs “that will help increase efficiency and safety” at the facility, according to the release.
“Support for community airports is key to the safety of travelers and the flow of commerce,” Brown said in the news release. “This award will give Athens County the resources to make needed improvements that will benefit those that rely on the local airport and its services.”
The money, which comes from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, will be used for runway repairs at the airport.
The last time the airport’s runway was repaved was in 1989, said Kenneth Carley, director of airport operations.
“We do a lot of craft healing work over the years, but inevitably after twenty-some years it’s time to replace it,” he said.
The runway is 5,600 feet long and 100 feet wide, and will take four to six weeks to be repaired. Of that time, the runway will be closed to traffic for about three weeks.
The airport has received two other federal grants in the past for the project – a $148,520 grant in 2012 for a pavement study and a $136,905 grant in 2014 for the design work.
The airport had to provide for ten percent of the total cost of the project.
The Gordon K. Bush airport serves Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Washington, Vinton, Galia, Jackson, Morgan and Perry Counties for “general aviation” purposes, according the the facility’s website.
It also houses OU’s aviation training program through the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
Carley said the Federal Aviation Administration has a long history of providing financial support for the airport.
“I’ve been here ten years and we’ve received $10 million worth of grants in that time,” he said. “They funded a lot of good investments in the airport and were thrilled with their support of the airport through this grant program.”