NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Federal grant dollars are helping the city cover costs of replacing the wind cone at Harry Clever Field and update the municipal airport’s master plan, which will identify its current condition and future needs.
Assistant City Service Director Amy Gilland said the city was awarded a $237,794 grant recently from the Federal Aviation Administration to go toward covering most of the cost of updating the master plan and replacing the wind cone, which indicates wind direction and speed.
The combined total cost for both items is $264,216. The FAA grant is covering 90 percent of the total cost of replacing the wind cone and updating the master plan. After figuring in the grant, local share is $26,422.
“The wind cone (replacement) is housekeeping,” City Service Director Jim Zucal said. “The (master plan) update is part of the business of having a small municipal airport. You’re looking over the whole airport and determining the future of the airport.”
Zucal said an updated master plan is required because council reclassified the runway from a B-I to a B-II classification in accordance with FAA guidelines. The runway is 3,951 feet, making it short of a mile. That meant a new Airport Layout Plan had to be created.
Gilland added that the updated master plan would be required for any future pavement or resurfacing.
“This has to be done prior to make sure runway safety areas are in compliance,” she said.
Harry Clever Field, named for its founder, was established in 1927 in a hayfield near the Historic Schoenbrunn Village on Delaware Drive.
During World War II, the airport had a civilian pilot training program under the sponsorship of Muskingum University. From 1953 to 1961, Lake Central Airlines operated out of Harry Clever Field and offered three flights daily to Columbus, one to Pittsburgh and one to Youngstown.
“It’s still a viable functioning part of our city, and it’s economically important to our city,” Zucal said. “And it’s important to our daily business and we’re committed to it.”