By Brandi Underwood
Several local airports will be able to upgrade portions of their facilities soon due to recently awarded federal funding for 13 West Virginia airport authorities.
Barbour, Berkeley, Braxton, Greenbrier, Harrison, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia, Nicholas, Raleigh, Randolph, Upshur and Wood counties each received varying monies to use on airport renovations and improvements, according to a Wednesday announcement from the offices of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Sen. Joe Manchin and Congressman Nick Rahall, all D-W.Va.
The funding is provided through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), over which Rockefeller serves as chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
In a statement issued by his office, Rockefeller said, “Our local airports are critical to West Virginia’s economy now and in the future. They open our state to business opportunities and tourism, and provide a safe and convenient way for West Virginians to travel. This grant funding will make sure the state’s airports remain safe and running so they can continue to facilitate ongoing air service throughout our state.”
Raleigh County Memorial Airport Manager Tom Cochran said that the $299,970 awarded to the Raleigh County Airport Authority will be used to replace the current terminal building roof.
“The roof on the terminal is from 1978, and it has deteriorated over the years, causing leaks,” Cochran said.
About 10 months ago, the airport applied for an Airport Improvement Program grant through the FAA, Cochran said.
The FAA funding recently awarded is a result of that application, which will cover the complete removal and replacement of the terminal roof, which houses the main lobby, restaurant and various airport offices.
Cochran said that the construction is expected to begin within the next few weeks and is estimated to be completed within 60 days.
Cochran said that he is very pleased to receive the funding and believes it will greatly benefit future airport operations.
The Greenbrier County Airport Authority received $185,000 to construct a taxiway at the Greenbrier Valley Airport. Airport manager Jerry O’Sullivan was unavailable for comment.
A complete list of the funding awards includes:
Other receiving funds are:
— Braxton County Airport, Sutton, $1,850,160, to rehabilitate the runway at the Braxton County Airport.
— City of Morgantown, $1,300,625, to replace the terminal building roof and drain system at the Morgantown Municipal-Walter L. Bill Hart Field Airport.
— Wood County Airport Authority, Parkersburg, $824,191, to rehabilitate the runway at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.
— City of Fairmont and the Airport Authority, $733,776, to construct a taxiway at the Fairmont Municipal-Frankman Field Airport.
— Elkins-Randolph County Airport Authority, $300,000, to rehabilitate the taxiway and its pavement.
— Nicholas County Airport Authority, Summersville, $173,598, to rehabilitate the runway at the Summersville Airport.
— Buckhannon-Upshur Airport Authority, $150,000, to construct a hangar building at the Upshur County Regional Airport.
— Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, Martinsburg $150,000, to rehabilitate the taxiway at the Eastern W.Va. Regional/Shepherd Field Airport.
— Barbour County Airport Authority, Philippi, $87,817, to construct a fuel facility at the Philippi/Barbour County Regional Airport.
— Mercer County Airport Authority; Bluefield, $58,223, to fund the design of a taxiway that will help the airport meet design standards.
— Benedum Airport Authority, Clarksburg, $50,000, to install perimeter fencing at the North Central West Virginia Airport.
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