Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

$232K federal grant to benefit Carroll County Regional Airport runway expansion

Carroll County Regional Airport’s runway expansion is getting a boost of more than $232,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration for its runway expansion project.

The FAA announced Tuesday the award of $15.9 million in grants to Maryland’s airports for maintenance and upkeep, part of a national $1.2 billion funding package. Of that, Carroll County is to receive $232,222, according to a news release.


The Westminster airport’s runway will be lengthened to allow aircraft with heavier loads to land more safely in adverse conditions, according to airport manager Mark Myers.

A portion of Meadow Branch Road will be relocated to the west of the existing road to provide for a safety area between the runway and the road, according to Myers. After the road is moved, the new runway will be expanded to be 400 feet longer than the existing runway, and it will be shifted 250 feet to the west and 600 feet to the north. There will be 400 feet between the taxiway and the runway instead of the current distance of 300 feet.


The relocation is planned to begin in 2022 as the first phase of construction, Myers said. The project is part of an $80 million expansion plan.

The airport has budgeted to fund 5% of the cost, while the Maryland Aviation Administration will contribute 5%, and the FAA will bear the brunt of the cost at 90%. The $232,222 grant is part of that 90%, according to Myers. It is mostly made up of the airport’s yearly allotment, which is about $60,000 higher than usual, according to Myers. Despite the increase, he said this will not greatly affect the project’s timeline, which is currently on track. COVID-19 has not contributed to any major changes in the schedule.

Although the project has not been slowed by COVID-19, Myers said the airport experienced less traffic at the height of the pandemic.

“We were about 30 to 50 percent slower during the height of the pandemic (a ballpark estimate), but have been back to normal for the last few months,” he wrote in an email Wednesday.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, the number of people going through airport checkpoints daily has plummeted, from averaging well over 2 million people per day last year to around 500,000 to 750,000 passengers this year.

The Westminster airport also received a $69,000 grant from the FAA, funded by the federal coronavirus relief fund (CARES Act), to make up for lost airport revenue, Myers said. The Act also eliminated the requirement for the airport to provide a 10% grant match this year.

Phil Davis contributed to this article.