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Federal aid funds completion of taxiway rehab at Niagara Falls airport

Federal aid funds completion of taxiway rehab at Niagara Falls airport

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Enser aerial Nigara Falls airport

An aerial view of runways at the Niagara Falls International Airport. (Buffalo News file photo)

Repairs to one of the taxiways leading to the nearly 2-mile-long main runway at Niagara Falls International Airport will be completed in the next year.

Rep. Brian Higgins said late Thursday that more than $5.5 million in federal funds has been allocated for the project, which includes rehabilitating or reconstructing more than 6,100 feet of pavement on Taxiway D, which is one of 13 taxiways at the airport.

A new lighting system along the taxiway also is part of the project, Higgins said.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which owns the Falls airport, is involved in a constant pavement repair program there, spokesman Michael Martineck said.

"Like any road in Western New York, it needs to be repaved and rehabbed," Martineck said. "It's almost continuous, like road work. In a couple of years, we'll have to refurbish it again."

The main runway is used primarily by commercial flights, but sometimes is also used by military planes from the adjacent Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Martineck said.

Its takeoff length is 10,825 feet, and the landing length is 9,825 feet, Martineck said, making it long enough to accommodate any aircraft in the world.

"In a joint agreement with the military, we have refurbished the main runway and we just recently extended the crosswinds runway," Martineck said. "The airport has two runways, and the way those runways are used depends on the weather and pilot choice, a lot of factors."

The crosswinds runway is 5,188 feet long

The refurbishing of Taxiway D will take a year, the spokesman said.

“Increasing travel and tourism will be an essential component of economic recovery,” Higgins said in a news release. “This substantial federal infrastructure investment in the Niagara Falls Airport paves the way for new opportunities for regional economic growth.”

The NFTA will receive $4.95 million in regular federal funds, plus an additional $550,000 in Covid-19 relief funding. The grant will fund the rehabilitation of over 5,600 feet of Taxiway D, the reconstruction of an additional 528 feet of the taxiway and the new lighting system.

Higgins' announcement said improvements to these runways and taxiways improve the resiliency of the air base, the largest employer in Niagara County, from potential future rounds of Pentagon budget cuts.

At present, the only airline using Niagara Falls is Allegiant Air, which flies to three Florida destinations: Punta Gorda, Orlando-Sanford and St. Petersburg-Clearwater.

Spirit Airlines, which had flown to Florida and Myrtle Beach, S.C., from Niagara Falls, dropped service to the Falls Oct. 1.

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