The Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) in Waterford Township is on its way to getting a nearly $700,000 grant from the federal government as a way to help fund the construction of the airport’s new “green” terminal building this summer.
The Michigan Aeronautics Commission accepted the new round of federal dollars — including the $696,106 grant — at its Thursday, March 31 meeting.
The grant must now be approved by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.
The federal dollars would, in part, be used to lay asphalt and complete paving work for the new terminal’s boulevard and parking lot.
“This would pay for phase two of the entrance drive to the airport including the parking lot for the terminal building and rehabilitation on one of our taxi ways which is badly worn, along with installing a wind cone on one of our runways,” said J. David VanderVeen, Oakland County Director of Central Services.
The wind cone tells the pilot which direction the wind is heading.
The federal portion would be $661,300 or 95 percent; the state would pick up $17,403 or 2.5 percent; and the county would assume the remaining $17,403 or 2.5 percent, according to VanderVeen.
The existing terminal building has been in service for over 50 years. Work on the new terminal began in the spring of 2009 and continues to move forward.
“Work is progressing,” VanderVeen said. “The building is under construction and on target to be completed in August.”
The new terminal will be constructed on the same site as the existing building. Upon completion, it will actually be smaller in terms of square footage — about 13,500 square feet as opposed to 17,000 square feet — but used more efficiently.
The “green” terminal will be one of the first of its kind in the country for a general aviation airport. Oakland International is the 16th busiest general aviation airport in the U.S. and the second busiest airport in the state behind Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
The new eco-friendly terminal will incorporate wind power-generating technology to offset electrical power use; LED interior lamps; wind turbine solar powered signage; solar hot water heating; geothermal power; and a rain water system for landscape irrigation.
The new building will include airport offices, a U.S. Customs Service office and a private meeting telecommunications room that can accommodate 80 people.