University Park Airport is one of 29 in Pennsylvania receiving PennDOT grants for infrastructure improvements, Gov. Tom Wolf announced this week.
The airport in Benner Township will get $75,000 for joint sealing of its runway as part of $13.7 million in grant funding awarded statewide.
“This grant means we can continue to support jobs and other investments tied to the University Park Airport, including future economic development and growth opportunities,” state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said in a news release. “These grants also ensure our airports operate safely and attract more customers.”
Grants announced on Wednesday were awarded from PennDOT's Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, the Aviation Development Program and the Multimodal Fund.
It's the second grant awarded this summer to University Park Airport. In July, the airport received a $1.83 million FAA Airport Improvement Program Grant to replace three pieces of aging snow removal equipment that are critical to its wintertime operations.
The funding comes as University Park Airport experiences record numbers of passengers and plans for growth. In June, Allegiant Air announced it would begin operating direct flights to and from the Orlando and Tampa, Fla. areas.
With a record 160,000 people expected to board flights from University Park this year and an expectation that number will continue to climb,Penn State and the Centre County Airport Authority also are embarking on a $9 million project that will create additional parking, a new, longer public access road to the airport terminal and a bus terminal. That project, announced last year, received a $2.5 million state grant and a low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank.
As of April, Pennsylvania ranks No. 13 in the country in the number of public-use aviation facilities with 127 airports, heliports, and seaplane bases, according to a release from Wolf's office.