The main runway will be lengthened in the future.
The primary runway at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport has been rehabilitated, including pavement and lighting. Normal operations began Feb. 22 after the runway was closed for five months. The 4,004-foot runway, known as Runway 9/27, which goes east and west, was beneath the condition that FDOT considers acceptable, according to a press release.
The heliport, built in 2013, was also improved with public parking and runway access to make it a fully functional heliport facility, the release stated. Airport Manager Lichliter said the helipad is well used for training by Tomlinson Aviation. Operations include agricultural spraying and power line patrol.
Runway 9/27 was previously known as 8/26, but the name was changed to reflect the earth’s magnetic pole. Runways are renamed periodically to match the magnetic pole, which constantly changes, explained Lichliter.
The total cost for the recent runway paving project was $2,098,528, and the city received an FAA grant that provided 90% of funding. FDOT provided $167,882, so the obligation from the Airport Fund was $41,970.
The total cost of the heliport improvements project was $163,839.50 and FDOT provided $131,072. The rest came from the Airport Fund.
Asked why there seemed to be fewer flights from the airport over the past year, Lichliter said some of the flight schools have moved part of their training to Flagler County Airport, which built a control tower one year ago.
In 2009, several meetings were held with residents and a study was done concerning noise from airplanes flying over neighborhoods. The result was that the flight schools developed voluntary flight patterns to avoid the neighborhoods south of the Tomoka River.
Another project planned for the Runway 9/27 is to lengthen it, allowing planes to take off with heavier loads. Lichliter said this would not change the type of airplanes that use the airport, but would allow them to take off with full fuel and passenger count, increasing efficiency.
This project has been in the works since 2014, but the FAA requires studies and evaluation because the agency will pay 90% of the cost. Lichliter said the design stage should start this year.