By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – Roughly a year after U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, D, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D, announced $1.8 million in federal funding for the Sidney Municipal Airport, work is underway.
Construction of a parallel taxiway will mean safer operations at the airport, manager Gary Klindt said early this week. Klindt noted that the project, conceptualized more than 30 years ago, is expected to wrap next spring.
Total, Klindt said, the project will cost $3 million, with five percent of that amount contributed by the village.
“(The village’s portion) comes from the general fund,” Sidney Mayor Andy Matviak said. “We put in our portion as the bills come to us, but we have it set aside in the budget.”
“It’s a heck of a deal for safer airport operations,” Klindt said.
After the $1.8 million announced last September, Klindt noted, remaining moneys were allocated from a discretionary federal fund fed by taxes collected on aviation fuel. The project cost includes all design plans, construction and moving enough dirt to meet the two percent grading requirements, Klindt said.
Though work was initially planned for three phrases, Klindt said, all phases are happening concurrently. Work has been contracted through JBS Dirt of Canastota.
By running parallel to the preexisting runway, the new taxiway will allow for safer aircraft traffic and multiple crafts on the runway at a time, while eliminating bottlenecking caused by the airport’s previous single runway set-up. As a result, the airport becomes safer and more accessible to a greater number of aircraft customers.