Ocean County Press Release
Crosswind Runway Project Nearing Completion
BERKELEY TOWNSHIP – Ocean County is expecting an additional $1.2 million from the Federal Aviation Administration that will be used to complete the crosswind runway project at the Ocean County airport.
"This safety project has been progressing well and this additional funding will allow us to complete the entire project by early next year," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the airport located at the Robert J. Miller Airpark, here.
In July, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorized a second grant application with the FAA for the second phase of the project.
"We just received approval from the FAA for $1.2 million in federal funding to construct the second phase," Vicari said. "This phase of the project covers lighting, signage and pavement markings."
Vicari noted that since the airport opened in 1968, there have been plans to construct a crosswind runway.
"The runway is needed by smaller aircraft during adverse wind conditions," Vicari said.
After many years of working with the state Pinelands Commission, the County executed a Memorandum of Agreement in June 2012 which allowed for the construction of the crosswind runway and other planned improvements at the airport.
"We had already secured a $6.5 million grant from the FAA and the New Jersey Department of Transportation to construct the first phase of the project," Vicari said. "The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in September."
Vicari is meeting with FAA representatives Aug. 15 to review the progress.
Vicari said the project will bring significant improvements to the airpark at a minimal cost to the County.
The county is constructing a runway that will be about 3,400 feet, far shorter than the existing 6,000-foot runway.
"The crosswind runway provides a safer landing alternative for smaller aircraft during adverse wind conditions," said Freeholder Director John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. "The safety of the pilots using the airpark is of the utmost importance to this Board.
"The airpark is used for more than just private planes," Kelly said. "It serves an important role when it comes to public safety, and housing aircraft that are used by public safety agencies."
In recent years, county, state and federal funds have helped pay to widen the runway, extend the taxiway, install a stormwater control system, construct new hangars, install a new system of signs and lights and rehabilitate the taxiways and apron.
"This airpark is an important element of the county's transportation program," Vicari said. "It's essential the facilities be kept current and at up-to-date standards."
The airpark is located on 420 acres in Berkeley Township about five miles west of Toms River. A precision approach facility, it features a 6,000 foot runway and accommodates various aircraft, including private airplanes, small corporate jets, the state Forest Fire Service planes, the Civil Air Patrol and Emergency Services aircraft.
"The NJDOT has advised us that this crosswinds runway will be the first new runway constructed in New Jersey in over 25 years," Vicari said.