SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (07/09/19) - A nearly $5 million airport project is about to take off at MBS International Airport.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced 264 airports earned a share of $477 million in federal funding.
MBS was awarded more than $4.6 million to be used to build a second taxiway. The remainder of the nearly $5 million will come from local and state sources.
Assistant Airport Manager James Canders said currently MBS has one taxiway connecting the terminal ramp to the runways.
"With only one entrance into the terminal ramp, should some sort of pavement failure occur then we have to shut down that portion and flights could get delayed or cancelled," Canders said.
The potential problem should be eliminated with the addition of the second taxiway.
"At busy times when we have more aircraft coming in, there are multiple options for them to come in, get to the gates a little more quickly," Canders said.
Improving safety is a key focus of the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program grant funding.
"This is an important safety improvement and this is why infrastructure investment is so important, we can never rest on our laurels," said FAA Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment Bailey Edwards.
The taxiway project is addition to the work currently underway on the main runway.
"Stripping off a bunch of the old pavement and putting about four inches of new asphalt on top, so it will give the runway another 20 years of useful life," Canders said.
Due to the runway construction this year, the taxiway project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020.
In addition to MBS, Sawyer International Airport in the Upper Pennisula's Marquette County, and Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City received the federal grant. Altogether the three Michigan airports received $7.5 million, according to Edwards.