Federal Aviation Airport Improvement grants will be used to enhance runways at the Hillsboro (N.D.) Municipal Airport, Hutson Field in Grafton and W C Skjerven Field Airport in Park River, N.D.

The three airport grants are part of $1.2 billion covering 405 airports in 50 states and six U.S. territories. In North Dakota, airports in 10 cities were awarded a total of more than $32 million in grant to fund improvement projects in the round announced earlier this month.

The $472,222 grant, which Hillsboro received from the federal investment fund will finance construction of a parallel taxiway and east-west taxiway, said Terry Sando, Hillsboro City Commission president.

The additional runways will allow airport customers, such as aerial applicators, to fly in and out of the airport without interruptions when the main runway is busy, Sando said.

The runways project are part of several that have been under way at the Hillsboro airport the past few years or that will be in future years. Two years ago, the asphalt was removed and replaced with concrete during a $7 million airport reconstruction project.

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Another improvement project is to build more hangar space, according to Sando, noting that all 11 of the airport’s hangars are rented

"We’d like to double that number,” he said. “We’re trying to be this great little airport in the middle of everything."

In Grafton, a $99,563 grant will be used to fund a drainage feasibility study that will research ways to reduce the amount of water that pools on the runway after heavy rains, said Jon Scraper, Mead and Hunt aviation services department manager. Mead and Hunt in Fargo is conducting the feasibility study.

If the study shows that there are viable options for mitigating the water problems, those will be pursued and a project will be designed, Scraper said.

Scraper also is project manager for the a project at the W C Skjerven Field Airport in Park River, N.D., The $94,910 grant the airport was awarded will be used for obstacle mitigation.

"Trees are penetrating the glide slope for the approach into the runway," said Glen Wharam, W C Skjerven Field Airport manager, adding that the obstacle mitigation will improve the safety for arriving and departing airplane traffic.