Knox County airport receives grant for road construction
Rockland — The Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head is using federal money to construct a service road this fall to improve the safety of the airport, said Airport Manager Jeffrey Northgraves.
The road will run parallel to the runway and will connect to the runway at the approach end, he said.
Currently, there is no road for vehicles, such as fuel trucks, to use, so taxiways are used by vehicles to cross the runway. Northgraves said the new road will improve visibility and make crossing safer.
The airport, designated a primary airport in the state as it services 10,000 people each year, is entitled to receive $1 million annually for capital and safety improvements, he said.
Portland, Bangor, and Presque Isle are also classified as primary airports.
The funds are generated through an aviation service account, to hold money the Federal Aviation Administration collects from fees from travelers and foreign governments, among others. The money is then distributed to airports for maintenance.
The $153,000 earmarked for construction of a service road is the fourth grant the airport has received this year, Northgraves said.
Additional capital the airport received will be apportioned to other projects and equipment. This includes $300,000 for purchasing property easements, $40,000 for a snow removal truck, and $800,000 for a wildlife fence, Northgraves said.
Construction of the access road will begin this fall, and all permits are in place, he said.
In November 2012, three men were killed in a plane crash at the Knox County Regional Airport after a single-engine aircraft, in which the three men were in, collided on the runway with a vehicle.
The collision caused the plane to crash in a wooded area near the runway. Families of the three men have filed notices of claim with the county.
Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 118
Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.
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