Mary Kate Linehan, Senior Staff Writer

Miami University’s Airport is located just west of Oxford between Fairfield and Brookvile roads. (SCOTT ALLISON | The Miami Student)

Of the 177 airports in Ohio, Miami University’s Airport was recently one of few to receive a grant from the State of Ohio.

Senator George Voinovich announced Miami University Airport was awarded almost $60,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for improvements and projects by the airport planning team.

The university has received grants before, said Paul Allen, director of business services in the Aviation Services Department.

“We have gotten a series of grants from the Federal Aviation Administration over the years,” Allen said.

The FAA works to make money available to general aviation airports for safety and other operations, Allen said.

This grant will be used for two projects at the airport, Allen said. 

“Its going to be a design for the extension of the parallel taxiway and lighting on the ramp,” said Scott Shaw, manager of Airport Operations & Chief Mechanic for Miami University Airport.

The first project is to plan the extension of the airport’s taxiway, the landing area for aircraft taxis carrier passengers.

The runway is currently about 4,000 feet long and the taxiway takes up half of that runway, Allen said.

Miami University Airport will be using some of the grant money for planning to extend the taxiway to the Southwestern end of the airport.

Allen said the grant money, after several years, would be enough for the actual construction of the taxiway.

“Probably three years worth of grant money that the FAA offers to us, will be set aside, and once we have enough money to do the whole project, then we will do it, so it will probably be three or four more years,” Allen said.

The second project the grant will be used for is for increasing the lighting of the ramp area closer to the hangers.

The ramp area is where the fuel pumps are, where planes can pull up after landing and where the planes can park at night.

“Right now the light out there isn’t very good so part of this money actually is to upgrade that lighting so that there is a lot better lighting out by the ramp area,” Allen explained.

Whether or not these improvements will increase the use of the airport is unknown. Allen said the airport usually is not particularly busy but it is mainly used to serve those coming to visit the university.

Allen said the Miami University Airport likes to encourage aircrafts to stop to purchase fuel for their crafts.

Miami used a grant last year to install an automated weather observation system; a radio that pilots can use to find out weather at the Oxford-based airport.