Van Nuys Airport received an $18.4 million grant that will pay for repairing the airfield’s main runway.

The grant will pick up 90 percent of the cost of the repair project with the state and the airport picking up the remainder. Los Angeles World Airports has a preliminary estimate of $20.4 million for the project.

The grant ensures Van Nuys will continue to operate safely and efficiently to provide quality service to its users, said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

“Van Nuys is one of the country’s busiest general aviation airports and is a powerful economic engine for the Los Angeles region,” Huerta said in a prepared statement.

The repair project, expected to start in early 2013, will place an asphalt overlay on a 4,400-foot section of the runway with shorter sections receiving a full reconstruction.

The work will be conducted in three phases with a full runway closure of 10 days and 26 nights between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The Board of Airport Commissioners will vote in October on accepting a bid from the contractor that will do the work.

Mark R. Madler