University Park Airport Receives State Grant for New Parking Lot
The University Park Airport has been looking to the future and planning for expansion, which will be made easier by a recent $350,000 grant from the state to build a new parking lot.
Airport director Bryan Rodgers says he’s seen “some up and downs that trend with the economy” during his 14 years with the airport, but that things have been looking up lately. With increased demand and new service routes to Chicago and Atlanta, having sufficient parking space will become more and more important.
Rodgers says design work has been underway on the parking lot for the past two years. Submitting an application for grant money to the Department of Transportation was the logical next step to help offset the project's costs.
According to a news release from PennDOT, only one airport in the entire state, the York County Airport, received a larger grant than the University Park airport.
“Having additional modes of transportation, like air travel, is huge for economic development,” says PennDOT spokeswoman Jamie Legenos. “A lot of the airports that got these grants are smaller airports, which are important for their local community.”
Rodgers says construction on the parking lot will likely be underway by spring of next year, which he hopes to have finished by the end of 2015. He says the additional 60 to 80 parking spaces will help accomodate public events the airport holds, such as this past weekend’s Aviation Awareness Day.
The planned lot is in keeping with the airport’s master plan, a 20 year planning document that anticipates future growth within the airport. Rodgers says future expansions to the runway and additional commercial hangers for privately-owned planes are possible in the future.