Pontiac, MI - The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) collectively recognized Oakland County's three airports as "Airport of the Year" during the annual Michigan Association of Airport Executives Winter Conference in East Lansing.
Oakland County completed runway rehabilitations at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Oakland Troy Airport in Troy, and Oakland Southwest Airport in Lyon Township in 2021.
"We commend the Oakland County system of airports for the rehabilitation of runways at all three airport locations," Michael G. Trout, executive administrator of MDOT's Office of Aeronautics, wrote on the award plaque. "Utilizing local funding for portions of the upgrades, and despite pandemic delays and challenges, the collaboration with airport design consultants resulted in beautiful upgrades."
The cost of upgrading the three runways totaled more than $12.5 million without utilizing any of Oakland County's general fund. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants, MDOT grants, and airport user fees funded the infrastructure improvements.
"The improvements are helping us maintain and expand the vital business that's happening at the airports every day, especially Oakland International Airport in Waterford, the second busiest aviation hub in the state with more than 123,000 annual takeoffs and landings," said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. "We're honored MDOT has recognized this critical piece of the county's economic infrastructure."
Below is a summary of the three runway rehabilitation projects at Oakland County airports that enhance operational safety, improve visibility, update airport taxiway design, and guidance signage to current FAA standards:
- Oakland County International Airport rehabilitated the 6,521-foot-long primary runway (Runway 9R/27L) which included LED lighting and taxiway improvements. Construction began on the $11.36 million upgrades on July 6, 2021 and finished Nov. 12. Final paint marking will begin this spring. A FAA grant paid for 97 percent of the project cost while an MDOT grant and airport user fees each contributed 1.5 percent.
- Oakland Troy Airport upgraded its 3,549-foot-long runway (Runway 9/27, now redesignated Runway 10/28) and installed new airfield guidance signs. The $966,000 project started on Sept. 20, 2021 and wrapped up Oct. 12. A FAA grant covered 93 percent of the cost. An MDOT grant and airport user fees each covered 3.5 percent.
- Oakland Southwest Airport resurfaced its 3,128-foot-long runway (Runway 8/26). The start date of the $232,000 improvements was Sept. 20, 2021, concluding on Oct. 3. Airport user fees funded the entire project. In a show of collaboration, the Road Commission for Oakland County, an independent entity, was the project engineer at the Lyon Township airport.