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Thu, Feb 23, 2012

Taxiway B At South Carolina's Donaldson Field Is Now Open

Infrastructure Improvement Paid For Largely With $1.35 Million DOT Grant

Taxiway B at South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center’s (SCTAC) Donaldson Field opened for air traffic on Thursday, February 2, 2012. The completion of this important infrastructure will significantly impact operations, especially those of Lockheed Martin, contributing to a $1.4 billion impact to local and state-wide economy. The completion of this taxiway was facilitated by a $1.35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation with assistance from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. “General aviation plays a critical role in the lives of our citizens as well as the success of our businesses,” said Senator Graham. “These funds will help contribute to the competitiveness of several SCTAC companies in today’s aviation, industry and technology markets.”

The completion of Taxiway B comes most anxiously awaited by Lockheed Martin, who maintains over twelve hundred flight operations a year at Donaldson Field. In fact, the first plane to “christen” the new taxiway was a C-130 from Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin, entering the twenty eighth year of operation at the center, employs around 1,000 at the SCTAC facility. “This is a significant upgrade to Donaldson Field and will certainly improve the efficiency of our operations,” says Don Erickson, Site Director for Lockheed Martin’s Greenville Operations.

“Today, as SCTAC continues to expand our services to our current tenants, Taxiway B will make us more attractive to future tenants, leading to more Upstate jobs,” says Jody Bryson, President & CEO of SCTAC. “The Taxiway B project completed the parallel taxiway for the entire length of the runway and will ensure efficient and safe operations for all types and sizes of aircraft, eliminating the need for aircraft to back-taxi on the runway,” he added.

The project included creating a new taxiway pavement, 4,000 feet in length with two large connector taxiways, allowing aircraft to exit the runway from the north end of the airfield. The taxiway is designed 50 feet in width and will be able to support both civilian and military aircraft. It concludes a long history in completing a full length parallel taxiway, enhancing the safety of the airfield and creating an enhanced airfield design that facilitates more development. Without Taxiway B, corporate and military aircraft are forced to complete their taxi on the active runway.

SCTAC is recognized as a major aircraft maintenance and modification center with the 8,000 ft. by 150 ft. concrete primary runway well-suited for air cargo and other aviation-related business. The facility generates over $220 million in annual economic impact to South Carolina.



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