PTIA runway funding takes off

Sep. 14, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

The federal government has approved funding for a new taxiway at Piedmont Triad International Airport to accommodate the expansion of the Honda Aircraft Co.’s HondaJet project.
U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-6th and a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, said that the Economic Development Administration has approved $1.5 million for the taxiway, which will connect one of PTIA’s three runways with a soon-to-open HondaJet aircraft maintenance facility.
Airport officials told Coble’s office that the $1.5 million federal grant will be used as part of project that is expected to cost just under $2.5 million. It is expected to create 419 jobs and leverage some $80 million in private investment, according to Coble’s office.
“This new project will enable us to connect that extension on down to the end of the runway, which will greatly enhance the efficiency of Taxiway M, and provide access directly to the runway threshold for departing aircraft,” said PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker. “It’s an important final piece of that extension to serve Honda and the other users on that side of the field, which include TIMCO and Cessna.”
The 90,000-square-foot HondaJet maintenance facility will open this fall, according to Honda Aircraft. The company has more than 800 employees at its corporate campus at PTIA.
The HondaJet maintenance, repair and overhaul facility is designed to handle work for up to 12 aircraft simultaneously, according to the company.
Honda Aircraft is targeting the end of next year for the Federal Aviation Administration to sign off on certification for the HondaJet, which is going through test flights now. The advanced light jet will seat up to six people in its standard design.