Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trenton-Mercer Airport (KTTN) will remain open for use by smaller jets during renovations

EWING — While Frontier Airlines will not be flying in and out of Trenton-Mercer Airport during a two-month period of renovations this fall, smaller jets will still use the airport, county officials said yesterday.

From early September to early November the terminal, some of the parking lots and part of the main runway are scheduled to be under construction, as the county renovates to accommodate the increased demand it has seen since Frontier began flying out of the airport last year.

The county will spend $4.2 million to add a new parking area, upgrade the terminal and make runway safety improvements.

Frontier will not use the airport during the upgrades because the main runway will be partially closed, said Wolcott Blair, general manager of Ronson Aviation, which handles maintenance of many planes at the airport. The airline might have been able to use the airport for shorter trips during the closure, but weather could have caused many delays when combined with the effects of the renovation projects, Blair said.

However, most of Trenton-Mercer’s other air traffic, mainly corporate jets, will still be able to operate, he said.

Frontier began flying out of Trenton-Mercer in November and by April was offering trips to 10 different destinations from the Ewing airport.

During the two-month construction period, crews will install EMAS, a strip of specially designed crushable concrete blocks at the end of the the airport’s longer, 6,006-foot runway. The blocks are designed to slow and stop planes that overrun the runway. EMAS beds were installed at both ends of the airport’s shorter runway last year.

Mercer County officials said the airport must install the EMAS system to comply with FAA regulations on runway safety. The project has been planned for several years and is required to be completed by the end of 2013.

Daniel Shurz, a Frontier senior vice president, has previously said the airline asked county officials to move the project’s construction and installation schedule to the fall because it is the “lowest-demand period of the year,” and the airline would be able to weather the drop in ticket sales.

Frontier will resume flying out of the airport in early November, and is selling tickets for flights beginning Nov. 8.

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