FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — In 2019, Frederick Municipal Airport had more than 95,000 take-offs and landings.

“Making Frederick Municipal Airport the second busiest airport in the state of Maryland,” said Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the City of Frederick. 

The airport launched in 1949 with a single runway. Since then, the City of Frederick and Frederick County have envisioned growth for the airport.

“We’re pretty uniquely located just outside the special flight rules area,” explained airport manager, Rick Johnson. “It’s a ring around Washington, D.C. where [there is] less restrictive airspace and Frederick’s just on that outer edge.”

The airport has namely attracted pilots working through flight training and corporate jet flyers. 

On Wednesday, local officials unveiled a major project at the airport. For several weeks, contractors have worked to extend the airport’s main runway by nearly 600 feet, elongating it from 5,220 feet to 5,819 feet.

Johnson says extending the runway to 5,819 feet improves safety margins and allows for more travel. 

“With a longer runway, they can take on [more] passengers, cargo, fuel, and get anywhere in the country,” Johnson said. 

The $3.7 million project was funded through grants from the Federal Aviation Administration, Maryland Aviation Administrations, and the city and county. The project also included the creation of a taxiway and a clearing for future hangar facilities.

“So not only enthusiasts who will keep their small plane here…but also commercial, private aircrafts that come in, [and] buys the fuel here,” explained Congressman David Trone. “The goal is to make this airport 100 percent self-sufficient.”