June 02, 2011

Manchin, Rockefeller, Rahall Announce $461,173 Federal Grant for Tri-State Airport in Huntington

Funding Will Help Airport with Important Upgrades to Runway and Taxiway

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, as well as Congressman Nick Rahall announced $461,173 in federal funding for the Tri-State Airport in Huntington.  The Tri-State Airport will use the funding to upgrade the runway and taxiway.  These improvements will help ensure the safety of the passengers, provide businesses better access to Huntington so they can grow and expand in the area, and give tourists easy and safer access to the state.

The grant was awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP).  As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator Rockefeller oversees this grant program. 

“This is a win-win for Huntington and West Virginia as residents, passengers, businesses, and tourists all benefit from an improved, modern airport,” said Rockefeller.  “This funding will help further our goal of keeping West Virginia’s airports safe and efficient while also boosting the state’s economy.  I’ll continue to strongly push to get West Virginia’s airports and airport professionals the resources they need to provide the most up-to-date, reliable transportation available.”

“With businesses like Amazon.com expanding in Huntington, it’s critical to make sure that we provide a safe and reliable airport, and this funding will help strengthen the business climate and all of Cabell Country and improve passenger safety,” Manchin said.  “West Virginia is truly the best state to do business and improving this airport will make the state even more attractive.”

“The service provided by Tri-State Airport, like that of all our West Virginia airports, is important to helping our communities sustain existing business and attract future development,” said Rahall, top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FAA.  “The ongoing success of Tri-State – its management, and growth rates in commercial utilization and passenger boardings – exemplifies why federal support of air service is a solid investment.  Not only is such support necessary for maintaining modern transportation infrastructure, but it spurs small business growth that we so sorely need to help America’s economy take wing.”


Tri-State has been one of the fastest growing commercial airports in the U.S. over the past two years with more than 100,000 airplane passengers at the airport annually.  

On April 21, Rockefeller and Rahall participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completion of a runway extension at Tri-State Airport.  The majority of this project was funded through AIP awards.  The additional 500 feet of runway will allow aircraft to take on more fuel for longer flights and permit airlines to operate larger aircraft at the airport. 

Additionally, the Senate and House are negotiating a FAA reauthorization bill to create and support jobs, make air travel safer, and increase access for rural communities. Rockefeller and Rahall are fighting to ensure that the bill invests in the AIP initiative – which Republicans are trying to slash -- to fund aviation infrastructure at airports across the country.  The AIP projects also support and create high-paying construction and engineering jobs.  According to the American Association of Airport Executives, $1 billion in AIP funds could generate up to 35,000 new jobs.  The Senate bill authorizes investments in AIP funds, which could save or create up to 280,000 jobs nationwide.

AIP was established by the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 in order to provide grants to public and some private agencies for the planning, development, and improvement of public-use airports.