By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – US Senators Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) announced Thursday, Sept. 7 the allocation of $1.8 million to the Sidney Municipal Airport for the construction of a new parallel taxiway. The funds, allocated through the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Division, will help forward the ongoing overhaul of the Sidney facility.
Airport manager Gary Klindt, Jr. said the completion of the taxiway will mean fruition of a project begun more than 30 years ago.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Klindt, unrolling the decades-old project blueprints. He added, “This is something we’ve been trying to do since 1984.”
The taxiway will be completed in three stages, two of which are funded by this most recent allocation, said Klindt. As the airport now has only a singular runway, the taxiway’s completion will mean Sidney Municipal Airport is safer and more easily accessed by a broader number of aircraft customers.
The new taxiway, which will run parallel to the preexisting runway, will allow for safer aircraft traffic and multiple crafts on the runway at a time, while eliminating bottlenecking caused by the airport’s current set-up. It will also minimize runway incursions and help maintain the airport’s eligibility for future grants at a fixed rate.
Calling the taxiway “the last major hurdle” in a series of recent airport improvements, Klindt said, “It will make the airport safer and help us meet federal guidelines … and make us look more professional.” The funding, he noted, is specifically flagged for non-revenue generating projects.