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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Kent State Airport receives approval for $5.2 million in grants

Time is ticking as at the Andrew Paton Field, Kent State’s airport, staff unblocks the runway of debris. The pavement is filled with cracks and possible repair costs continue to increase from tar to fill cracked holes. The heart of the airport keeps chipping away.

“The runway is the heart of the airport,” airport manager David Poluga said. “If there’s more downtime for … routine maintenance, cracked filling and inspections, that’s more downtime that people can’t fly and operate on the runway.”

But now the airport’s condition has a positive future.

The Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program and the Department of Transportation granted Kent State’s airport in Stow up to $5.2 million in grants for reconstruction.

The FAA oversees air traffic, and its Airport Improvement Program provides grants to private and public agencies.

Sen. Sherrod Brown announced the approval of the grant on May 19.

“The Federal Aviation Administration’s investment to repair the runway means that the Kent State University Airport can continue its important work serving the community for years to come with enhanced safety and improved operations,” Brown said in an email response sent to KentWired by his press secretary.

The repairs will start in August and last until the end of September. Students will use the Akron Fulton Regional Airport and Portage County Regional Airport for flight training while the airport is under reconstruction.

In Ohio, the runway pavement is supposed to last between 15 and 20 years, Poluga said. Kent Airport is exceeding 23 years with the pavement for the runways, he said.

The airport does not plan to add extra length to the runway. Instead, the old pavement will be replaced.

“We found that some of the sub-grade, which is the structural components underneath the runway, was starting to deteriorate in some ways,” Poluga said. “So, what we did last year was set forth a planning project.

“That allowed us to do geotechnical engineering on the runway, determine the condition of the … the subsoils underneath. Then, from that, we developed a replacement project. A thousand feet of the runway will be dug out and replaced. Then the remaining 3,000 feet we just milled and overlaid like we were originally planning.”

KentWired Infographic by Annalexis Davis

After designing the project, it took up to two months to get the grant approved, Poluga said.

Brown called the airport “vital” to the community.

“Whether you’re a student at the College of Aeronautics and Engineering or a local business and community member, the Kent State University Airport is a vital resource that supports hands-on learning and local commerce,” Brown said.

Annalexis Davis is a campus editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Annalexis Davis, Beat Editor
Annalexis Davis is an aspiring journalist with a passion for bringing investigative journalism to local stories. She enjoys riding motorcycles, reading biographies, and exploring national parks.
Contact her at [email protected]

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