UPDATE (7/2/20 12:55 p.m.):
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Municipal Airport has provided comment on Wednesday’s funding announcement.
“I can’t thank Sen. Capito and Manchin enough for their support in securing these funds,” said Airport Director Jon Vrabel. “Appropriation of these funds is critical to keep the project moving forward so we can start this fall.”
The funds will be used for the design and property acquisition of the project, according to a press release. After the design and property acquisition phase is complete, the city will issue a bid announcement for the construction phase. The bid announcement is expected to be released in late summer or early fall, with construction anticipated by the end of the year.
The current length of the runway is 5,199 feet, making it the shortest runway for commercial carrier airports in the state, according to the City of Morgantown. The extension will add 1,001 feet to the runway and will enhance and modernize the airport’s facilities to help it maintain current operations, recruit new businesses and improve safety at the airport.
The project is estimated to take at least five years to complete, at an estimated cost of $50 million, the release states. A majority of the funding for the design and construction of the project will come from the FAA Airport Improvement Program. The remaining cost will be funded by the City of Morgantown and the State of West Virginia.
ORIGINAL STORY (7/1/20 6:25 p.m.):
U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R–W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D–W.Va., members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, have announced $1,902,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support the design phase of a runway extension project at the Morgantown Municipal Airport.
This project received additional funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law March 25, according to a press release.
“As the city of Morgantown continues to grow, it is essential that the capabilities of the Morgantown airport improve as well. This funding will be set aside for the design portion of the airport with plans to expand the current runway, creating the potential to serve higher volume aircrafts. With growing opportunity in North Central West Virginia, this project will add to the strong economic foundation that exists in our state. I look forward to the completion of this extension project and the social and economic gains it will bring to West Virginia.”Sen. Capito
“West Virginia’s economy relies on people being able to easily access our wild and wonderful state. This funding will help the Morgantown Municipal Airport expand its runway – already the smallest commercial runway in the state – in order to provide a viable option for West Virginians and visitors planning to travel to and from the area, whether it’s for expanding business in Morgantown, educational opportunities at West Virginia University, or Mountaineer sports. As we work on future COVID-19 relief funding, I will keep advocating for programs and funding that help rural states like West Virginia recover from this terrible health crisis and its continued impact on our economy.”Sen. Manchin