August 25, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin Announce $1,773,892 for West Virginia Airports

Federal Funds Awarded Through Department of Transportation’s Airport Improvement Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.V.) today announced close to $1.8 million in federal funding for three West Virginia airports.  The grants, which were awarded through the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), are being used to improve existing facilities by enhancing safety measures and repairing an airport runway.  

“West Virginia’s aviation system is an incredibly important part of our economy – providing jobs and connecting our businesses and tourism to the rest of the world,” said Rockefeller. “We must make sure that we continue to support our state aviation system by providing for our regional airports and making sure that we have the safest, most up-to-date equipment.” 

“I believe that it’s time we turned our focus to rebuilding America, and improving critical transportation infrastructure here in West Virginia is a great place to start,” Senator Manchin said. “Keeping our airports safe and up-to-date helps keep our economy moving and attracts businesses and residents, which creates jobs. I am committed to making West Virginia a more competitive place to work and do business, and I am pleased that these funds will help spur the economic development that our state needs.”  

The following airports were awarded grant money by the Department of Transportation: 

Yeager Airport ($1,518,892)                                                                             
Eastern WV Regional/Shepherd Field Airport ($127,500)                                             
Wheeling Ohio County Airport ($127,500)                                                                   


Yeager Airport will receive funding for the relocation of navigational aids and the acquisition of snow removal equipment that will keep the airport serviceable during snow periods and aid in the efficiency and safety of operations.  This project will also correct airport drainage and erosion control issues, remove and replace runway signage, and replace the threshold lighting systems. 

At the Eastern WV Regional/Shepherd Field Airport, the grant will help the airport generate revenue through the acquisition of hangar facilities and ensure compatible land use.  

Wheeling Ohio County Airport will use the funding to update the terminal building, including improvements to security, access control, lighting, heating and air conditioning systems, paint, equipment, and furnishings.

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 Federal Aviation Administration (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.