August 18, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin, Rahall Announce More Than $2.3 Million 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.Va.), along with Congressmen Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), today announced $2,341,708 in federal funding for two 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. 

“This money will further our state’s fight to maintain adequate air service for West Virginians and those traveling to and throughout our state,” said Senator Rockefeller. “These grants will continue enhancing our airports by making them safer and more efficient.  I’ll do everything I can to make sure improvements like these continue advancing the lives of West Virginia’s people and businesses.”

“Improvements to our infrastructure ultimately make West Virginia a better place to live and do business, spurring economic activity and development that our state needs to create jobs,” Senator Manchin said. “Reliable transportation is especially critical in some of our state’s more remote areas, because it enables us to move goods from place to place and bring people into the great state of West Virginia.” 

“Transportation anchors, like our airports, require upkeep and investment.  Even the most basic needs of any airport require major investments,” said Congressman Rahall, who serves as the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Short-sighted budget whackers need to understand the long term investment needs critical to job growth in a competitive global market.  This type of funding is an important resource to ensure the efficient operation of Mercer County’s airport, which is important to the community’s ability to attract and grow business.  Robust funding for our rural community airports is vital to the overall success of West Virginia’s economy.” 

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

Mercer County Airport Authority ($1,743,540)                                                      

Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport ($598,168)                                                               


Mercer County Airport Authority will use the grant money to rehabilitate existing runway pavement and to also correct existing drainage and grading problems. At the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, the grant will fund the installation of a wildlife perimeter fence that will protect the airport from unauthorized and inadvertent entry and wildlife hazards.

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.