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A $2.6 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will help finance safety improvements at Akron Airport.

The project includes:

Improvements to the main runway.

Drainage improvements to control runoff.

Land acquisition to extend the runway protection zone.

Snow-removal equipment.

Wayne F. Wegman of Passero Associates of Rochester, project consultant, said the grant shows the FAA is "committed to improving Akron Airport," considered a "reliever" facility for private air traffic from Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga.

The funding, he added, "will not only provide a great start to implementing the five-year, $7 million airport capital improvement plan, but should also produce a substantial boost to the local economy."

The projects are the first improvements outlined recently in the Airport Master Plan Update, designed to meet FAA safety and capacity standards, officials said.

Both the Town of Newstead and the Village of Akron approved the update last year. Runway improvements could begin this summer, with project completion anticipated for spring 2002.

Fifty-eight aircraft are based at the airport, owned by Christian Airmen and located in Newstead, on the northeast border of Akron.

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