Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) said on June 27 the awarding of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant to Lakewood Airport is another solid step to modernize the Lakewood Township Airport.

Recent infrastructure improvements to the airport have helped enhance air operations, leading to a shortage in aircraft tie-down apron spots and hangar space. The airport, which first foresaw the need following a study more than a decade ago, has been hard-pressed to meet the need of both locally-based and transient aircraft.

The $242,640 grant will be used for the design phase of improvements that will feature a 12,000 square yard (SY) apron to securely park planes.

When completed, the project will upgrade existing aircraft parking areas with a 9,200 SY transient apron adjacent to the Taxiway A, a 13,700 SY apron by the terminal building and maintenance area, and a 3,300 SY apron between the airport’s storage hangar and the northwest side of Runway 6/24. The need for the project was cited in the 2006 Airport Master Plan that determined improvements were necessary that would bring sufficient paved parking spaces for local-based and visiting aircraft, and it recommended a 12,000 S.Y. of apron should be constructed.

“This funding was approved by the FAA and will be used to design operational upgrades to Lakewood Airport facilities,” Smith said. “The Lakewood Airport is an important component to the Lakewood Office Industrial Park and helps boost economic activity in Lakewood and in the surrounding Ocean County area.”

The airport, located in Lakewood Township’s Office Industrial Park, is less than 40 minutes flying time from numerous East Coast metropolitan international airports. Lakewood Airport is classified as a general aviation facility by the FAA.

This latest grant to keep Lakewood Airport modern and operational follows other grants including a $405,000 FAA grant in 2015 for the final phase of improvements to runway 6/24, a 2014 FAA $84,000 grant used to design a new taxiway intended to increase safety, and a 2013 FAA grant for $220,500 used for the removal of obstructions both on and off airport property that interfered with runway 6/24.

“This project will ultimately enable us to meet more demand and to pursue other expanded services with this new capacity on hand,” said Steve Reinman Director of Economic & Industrial Development for Lakewood Township. “We appreciate all the help from Congressman Smith and the federal government to serve the people of Lakewood better.”