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Published: Wednesday, 3/24/2004

Plans to extend runway ended by funding drop

PORT CLINTON - The Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport is shelving plans to extend its primary runway because of a drop in federal funding.

Airport manager Jack Stables said the facility recently lost its federal designation as a "primary facility" - a category that includes Toledo Express Airport - because its annual passenger use fell below 10,000 last year.

The reclassification will cost the airport $1 million in FAA capital improvement funds for last year.

As a result, the airport is declining a $1.5 million federal grant secured in December by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo).

The grant was to help fund a nearly $4 million project to add more than 600 feet to the airport's 5,004-foot runway and make other improvements.

Mr. Stables said the project, originally planned for construction this year, will be delayed at least until 2006 while the airport seeks other sources of funding.



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