NEWPORT NEWS - The taxiways at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport will be getting a much-needed makeover.
The Peninsula airport received a $10,214,131 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to improve taxiways A, B and C. Taxiways connect runways with ramps, hangars, terminals and other facilities.
"If you don't have infrastructure available such as quality runwaqys that are long enough for theairlines to operate on and a supporting taxiway system, it doesn't matter how many passengers and how much their paying. If the airline can't land and take off, they can't operate," stated Ken Spirito, the airport's executive director."It's going to contribute to the longevity of our airport and quality of service we can provide for many years."
Spirito stated the 20-year-old pavement will be replaced during the year-and-a-half-long project that will cost $11.3 million. The $1 million difference will be paid for by the airport.
Construction will begin in Fall or Spring of 2013, depending on weather and the contractor, said spokeswoman Jessica Wharton.
Wharton added that the improvements are necessary for aircraft and the project will create jobs.
The taxiway project is part of the overall $17.5 million capital improvement plan. Already underway is the renovation of a concourse to match the one opened two years ago. The airport also will replace the steep steps leading from the parking lot to the terminal with an outdoor covered escalator.
The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is served by four airlines: Allegiant, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines and US Airways.