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Sep 16, 2015 10:03 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

FAA Earmarks $2.4 Million For Runway Repaving At Gabreski Airport

Sep 16, 2015 12:55 PM

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $2.4 million grant to complete runway maintenance work at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton.

The money will be used for the resurfacing of one of the airport’s three runways—a 5,000-foot-long landing strip known as 15/33, the shortest of three at Gabreski. Potholes and debris from the crumbling asphalt have been issues on the runway, and daily inspections and maintenance sweeps are conducted to repair potholes to ensure its safe usage by aircraft.

It was not immediately clear when the runway repaving would be completed.

The airport, which is owned and operated by Suffolk County, is home to the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing and hosts some 60,000 landings and takeoffs a year, a mix of both military and civilian flights. The federal grant has been awarded to Suffolk County.

“This project is critical to ensuring the safety of the men and women of the 106th Air Rescue Wing and other users of Gabreski Airport,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a release about the maintenance grant.

“This funding will provide critically important repairs to the runways at Gabreski Airport,” U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin said in the same release. “This federal grant is especially necessary to support the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard, which plays a crucial role to protect our national security and New York’s emergency response capabilities.”

Runway 15/33 is one of the two shorter runways at Gabreski. The main runway, known as 6/24, is 9,000 feet long and the third longest in New York. The 150-foot-wide strip, on which most takeoffs and landings occur, was repaved in 2010.

During NASA’s Space Shuttle program, the Westhampton airport was designated as an alternate emergency landing site.

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