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Gabreski Airport gets nearly $1M in federal grants
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach nearly $1 million in two grants, for snow removal equipment and runway rehabilitation design, the congressional delegation and Suffolk County executive’s office announced Thursday.
A federal grant of $585,000 will help the airport replace 40-year-old snow removal equipment that regularly breaks down, said Anthony Ciglia, the Gabreski Airport manager.
After snow, Ciglia said, “This will allow us to reopen the airport sooner.”
A separate federal grant of $366,300 will fund the design phase of a project to rehabilitate one of the existing runway pavements at the airport, which is 22 years old. Ciglia said construction could start in one to two years.
The runway pavement has deteriorated in recent years, developing frequent cracks and buckling. The pavement has reached the end of its useful life and is approaching deterioration beyond consideration for patching or sealing, according to a statement from Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton.)
The airport is home to the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing as well as the Suffolk County Police Medevac Helicopter Unit.
“These federal investments will equip Gabreski for decades of reliable and efficient service in its dual commercial-military role,” Bishop said in the statement.