[caption id="attachment_165287" align="alignleft" width="367"] Eric A. Littleton[/caption]
The Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown has announced the selection of Eric A. Littleton of Bridgeville as manager of airport and business park operations.
In addition, the Sussex County airport has received $660,000 in Federal Aviation Administration grants. A grant of $150,000 will support general airport operations, and $516,727 will go towards updating the facility's master plan to complete the extension of its 5,500-foot runway to 6,000 feet.
Littleton will take over this October when current manager Jim Hickin retires after 12 years of service. Littleton was selected from a field of five candidates for the job that oversees day-to-day operations of the complex near Georgetown, which sees some 35,000 landings and takeoffs annually.
Littleton has worked in various aviation roles since 2006, including air traffic controller, surveillance coordinator/recovery director, and assistant airport manager.
"As a Sussex County native, I am excited for the opportunity to join the airport team, continuing my career in aviation as the manager of the Delaware Coastal Airport and Business Park," Littleton said. "I look forward to working with the County and FAA while maintaining the legacy of this local asset, and bolstering the facility infrastructure to prepare us for an evolving industry."
Local leaders touted Littleton's background with NASA and familiarity with Federal Aviation Administration and regional airport operators.
"We look forward to Eric continuing our recent efforts to modernize the airport and attract employers to the adjacent business park, and we're confident he will help take our Delaware Coastal facilities to new heights in the years ahead,"County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said.
In the last decade, it's undergone a series of multi-million-dollar improvements, including new tie-down aprons, state-of-the-art lighting, a crosswind runway, and extended main runway.
With the help of the FAA grant, the airport will complete the extension of the main runway from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. The runway will accommodate larger aircraft, including Boeing 757s, which would fly into the airport for conversion work at manufacturer ALOFT AeroArchitects in the adjacent Delaware Coastal Business Park.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a total of $477 million in airport infrastructure grants to 264 airports in 44 states. This is the third round of funding from a total of $3.18 billion that the FAA has committed to airport improvements.
"Infrastructure projects funded by these grants will advance safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide other economic benefits for local communities," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.