BERKELEY - Ocean County Airport at Robert J. Miller Airpark needs about $2.4 million in improvements and the Board of Freeholders is expected to ask the state Department of Transportation to help foot most of the bill.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said there is a major crack on the aircraft parking apron that will cost $1.2 million to repair. The apron provides parking space on the tarmac for the privately owned prop airplanes and corporate jets that are based or make stopovers at the airport.
The county-owned airport is eligible for a state DOT grant that would cover just more than $1 million of the costs, Vicari said.
A second project involves construction of a new taxi lane for a future T-hangar, which are indoor storage spaces to pack in multiple private aircraft, and would have the added benefit of generating revenue from rental fees collected from the airplane owners. The taxi-lane must be built before the hangar.
That project would cost just more than $1.18 million and the state grant package would provide just more than $1 million of that price tag.
"This is all part of the (approved) airport master plan, so we do not need anymore approvals from any other agency," Vicari said. "It is (the grants) competitive, but we are competitive."
Vicari said the freeholder board would approve the grant applications at its regular meeting on Wednesday.
Ocean County Planning Director David J. McKeon said the broken apron is about a decade old and repairs to the crack would extend its durability for another 10 years.
On the second project, there is a need for additional hangar space at the airport, McKeon said.
"We've got a number of T-hangars out there now that are revenue-generating facilities, but these are essentially garages for planes," McKeon said. "There is a high demand for those type of sheltered storage areas. We have a building that will be under construction this spring ... what this does is set the stage for the next building after that, probably two to three years hence."
"We have a waiting list for T-hangars," Vicari said. "We have one of the finest county airports in the state of New Jersey."
Since 1990, Ocean County has received more than $23 million in state and federal aid for improvements at the airport, according to the county Public Information Division.