September 12, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall Announce Federal Funding to Improve Safety at Eight Airports Across West Virginia

Washington, D.C – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall (all D-WV), today announced that eight airports across West Virginia have been awarded more than $15 million in federal funding.  The grants, which were awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), are being used to improve airport safety by developing existing facilities and upgrading or replacing runways and other structures.  

“This money for West Virginia airports will continue to build on our state’s vital aviation infrastructure and help those who work in and travel to the Mountain State,” said Senator Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.   “The funding will allow for these airports to run more efficiently – and most importantly – safely. I will always work to make sure our airports have access to the best available resources.”

“Investing in our transportation infrastructure in West Virginia is just one way we can begin the critical work of rebuilding America,” Senator Manchin said. “Modern and safe airports make our little state more attractive to residents and businesses, leading to economic development and job creation. I am pleased that eight of our airports will have the opportunity to make improvements with these funds.”   

“This funding helps to light up the runway for a brighter, more prosperous future for our citizens.  Federal investments in our local airports help to build our region’s economy,” said Rep. Rahall, top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  “The leadership teams at Tri-State and Greenbrier Valley, backed by community and local government support, help our airports keep pace with other airports their size across the Nation.”

The following airports were awarded grant money:

Huntington Tri-State Airport ($7,274,543)                                                           
Greenbrier County Airport ( $2,624,542)                                                        
North Central Airport ($2,000,000)
Elkins-Randolph County Airport ($1,951,959)                                                  
Yeager Airport ($904,779)                                                                             
Morgantown Municipal – Walter L. Bill Hart Field Airport ($631,000)
Philippi/Barbour County Regional Airport ($233,818)                                              
Jackson County Airport ( $224,480)                                                                


Huntington Tri-State Airport will use the funding to purchase rescue and fire fighting safety equipment, improve onsite facilities and repair the airport’s runway. Greenbrier County Airport will use funding to repair the taxiway and purchase rescue and fire fighting safety equipment. North Central Airport in Clarksburg will use the funding to repair the existing runway and purchase snow removal equipment that will make it easier for the airport to clear the airfield during dangerous and adverse weather conditions. Elkins-Randolph County Airport will use funding to repair the airport’s runway. Yeager Airport in Charleston will use the funding for runway rehabilitation and construction. Morgantown Municipal – Walter L. Bill Hart Field Airport will use the funding to replace the current roofing, update the runway, and purchase Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) protective gear and equipment. Philippi/Barbour County Regional Airport will use the funding to construct hangar facilities. Lastly, Jackson Country Airport will use the funding to update their current lighting system and purchase two hangars.

The 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.  These grants are highly sought after, and the FAA bases distribution of these funds on current national objectives and priorities.  The grant money can be used for a variety of projects, including airfield lighting, weather observation stations, land acquisition, and environmental studies.