Communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will see improved airport safety and services when 24 airports receive a $6.6 million in federal and state funds, Governor Edward G. Rendell said on March 23.
“These projects translate into jobs for Pennsylvanians at a time when jobs are rapidly disappearing. At the same time, this work means increased safety and efficiency at airports,” Rendell said.
The projects are safety oriented and at non-commercial, general aviation airports, Rendell said. They will help the airports to meet federal regulations for operation. In addition, assuming that a widely-used calculation that each $1 billion of investment equals 30,000 jobs is true, more than 190 jobs could be created through these airport investments, he said.
The state portion of funding – $170,664 from PennDOT’s aviation development program – comes from the state’s jet fuel tax and leverages more than $170,000 in local matching funds, Rendell explained. The Federal Aviation Administration is providing nearly $6.5 million in grants through the block grant program, funded through taxes collected on airline tickets, freight waybills, international departure fees, and sale of aviation fuel. Airports eligible for federal block grants include general aviation airports, designated reliever airports, and non-primary commercial airline airports (those with less than 10,000 annual passengers) that are part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.
Pennsylvania has 134 public-use airports and heliports, of which 15 airports have scheduled commercial service, Rendell said. Of those, Beaver County Airport will receive $195,000 to rehabilitate pavement areas and to calibrate aircraft navigation equipment. Zelienople Municipal Airport will receive $519,776 to increase safety by relocating or improving lighting of utility lines.
Bradford County Airport will receive $48,750 to construct improved aircraft separation areas and provide better access to fueling facilities.
In Bucks County, Quakertown Airport will receive $292,500 to enhance flying safety through acquisition of easements and removal ofrunway obstructions, and $292,500 to acquire land near the airport.
Butler County Airport will receive $604,500 for the construction phase of its south taxiway. In Cambria County, Ebensburg Airport will receive $126,750 to purchase snow removal equipment. Chester County’s Brandywine Airport will receive $63,375 to enhance pilots’ airport visibility by installation of a new airport beacon, and $48,750 to design an expanded paved aircraft parking area. Clarion County Airport will receive $286,650 for snow removal equipment and Clearfield County’s Clearfield-Lawrence Airport will receive $536,250 to rehabilitate the electric system, vault and airport rotating beacon.
In Clinton County, the William T. Piper Airport will receive $97,500 to seal cracks in airport pavement, and $78,000 to replace the airport’s rotating beacon. Elk County’s St. Mary’s Municipal Airport will receive $121,875 to seal cracks and apply seal coat to airport pavement. Erie County’s Corry-Lawrence Airport will receive $232,537 for installation of an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) and $153,947 for updating its Airport Master Plan.
Joseph A Hardy Connellsville Airport in Fayette County will receive $1 million to continue bringing the runway safety areas up to FAA standards. Jefferson County’s Punxsutawney Municipal Airport will receive $175,987 to update the Airport Master Plan. In Luzerne County, Hazleton Municipal Airport will receive $73,125 to upgrade its AWOS and replace the airport beacon. Mercer County’s Greenville Municipal Airport will receive $292,500 to remove obstructions to aircraft flight paths and Grove City Regional Airport will receive $146,250 for installation of an AWOS.
Mifflin County Airport will receive $48,750 to improve pavement and pavement markings. Somerset County Airport will receive $126,750 to purchase snow removal equipment, and $58,500 to increase safety by continuing tree removal near and under its runway approaches. Snyder County’s Penn Valley Airport will receive $146,250 to improve safety by removing runway obstructions. Tioga County’s Wellsboro-Johnston Airport will receive $34,125 to provide additional parking for airport users and visitors.
In Venango County, the Titusville Airport will receive $355,875 for the first construction phase of a parallel taxiway, allowing for easier runway access and Venango Regional Airport will receive $243,750 to complete an Airport Master Plan Study, and $170,625 to install an Emergency Generator. Washington County Airport will receive $58,500 to design a perimeter fence that will help reduce wildlife and pedestrian interference.