WINCHESTER — Construction has wrapped up on an addition to Winchester Regional Airport’s taxiway and a paved connector to the north side of the property.
The airport’s executive director, Serena “Renny” Manuel, made the announcement before the Winchester Airport Authority on Thursday evening.
The roughly $2.75 million project connects the runway at 491 Airport Road to undeveloped land that is on the north side of the runway and east of the Public Safety Building on Coverstone Drive. The project is fully funded, with $2.47 million being provided in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the rest coming from the state Department of Aviation and Frederick County.
General Excavation Inc. (GEI) started construction on June 22 and built a new 35-foot-wide portion of the taxiway to access the future hangars. A taxiway connects the runway to the apron, hangars and other facilities to provide a path for aircraft. The new portion of the taxiway runs parallel to and 400 feet north of the runway.
Manuel said a few punch list items still need to be finished and an inspection will have to be conducted before the addition can be used. Inspections will be done by Delta Engineering, a representative from GEI and the airport itself.
Manuel previously told The Star that the airport eventually wants to build 11 hangars on the undeveloped space to accommodate future airport development and growth. The airport is currently built out on the southern side of the runway.
On Thursday afternoon, Manuel said in a phone interview that the north side connector won’t be used until hangars are built. As it is now, the connector to the north side of the property does not take the planes anywhere and there is a barricade in place.
The airport will soon seek tenants to use the undeveloped land and construct the hangars. A typical lease term for tenants is 40 years, according to a previous statement made by Manuel.
Once the lease expires, any improvements the tenant made to the land — including the hangar buildings — will be given to the ownership of the airport authority.
— Contact Josh Janney at email@example.com