Knox County airport gets $5M

The Knox County Regional Airport has been awarded a $5 million federal grant for construction of a new taxiway.

The award was announced this week by U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine and a member of the House Budget Committee.

The $4,978,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration will enable the airport to add a parallel taxiway. The airport has a single runway, forcing aircraft to taxi backward after landing.

"Maine's regional airports are a critical link in the transportation infrastructure of rural areas of the state," said Allen. "These funds will markedly improve safety and efficiency at Knox County Regional Airport, an important hub for Midcoast Maine's transportation system."

In June 2006, the FAA awarded $261,000 to Knox County Regional Airport for permitting and design of the new taxiway. The funds announced this week include $903,122 in entitled funds and $4,074,878 in discretionary funds for Knox County.

Construction of a parallel taxiway will improve efficiency of the airport's current runway, which is served by an Instrument Landing System. The parallel taxiway will eliminate back-taxi operations on the main runway, opening it up for other aircraft to land.