Gov. Bevin Announces Significant Funding for General Aviation Airports
$20 million allocated to support runway improvement projects
NOTE: It was in the late 1970’s when I attended a ceremony to dedicate a new airport in Martin County. All the big wheels were there including the governor, state and federal representatives and the Sheldon Clark High school Marching band. The weather was brutal with temperatures hovering around the zero to minus ten mark with a wind chill of who knows what. But everyone was excited so see Martin County and indeed all of eastern Ky. get an airport designed for regional use smack during the height of the coal boom which saw six major coal companies and over 6,500 miners descend on the second poorest all white county in the nation. This was to be the beginning of a new day for Martin Co. Although not much development has taken place in the form of non coal related industry since that day, this extremely important facility is smack in the middle of what officials hope will be the new economic boom in eastern Kentucky. Governor Bevin’s announcement Friday is a welcome relief to what has been brutal economic time since the mines have been shut down and the miners laid off in the past three years. It is at least a spark of renewed spirit and hope. –Mark Grayson
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2016) – Continuing his commitment to the aviation industry, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today that select general aviation airports across the state will receive $20 million over the next two years to fund overdue airport pavement renovations.
“Every year, hundreds of individuals and companies consider bringing their business to Kentucky. Many of them travel here on corporate jets and land at one of our non-commercial airports,” said Gov. Bevin. “First impressions about Kentucky’s business communities are made starting from the moment an aircraft touches down. For this reason, investing in general aviation airport infrastructure is not merely cosmetic — it’s vital to strengthening the health of Kentucky’s economy.”
In total, 34 general aviation airports are slated to begin pavement improvement projects on aged runways, taxiways and aprons. The funds will pay for the restoration and maintenance of pavements in poor condition.
Pavement conditions will ultimately determine how funding is spent on airport projects, which range from crack repair to a complete overlay. If warranted, some runways, taxiways or aprons may receive a complete reconstruction.
A study was conducted in 2011 and updated in 2014 by Applied Pavement Technology to rate the condition of all runways, taxiways and aprons. Inspectors visited each airport to physically examine and grade the overall pavement condition. The Kentucky Department of Aviation (KDA) used the results from the study to determine the order of priority for projects.
“Gov. Bevin’s unwavering leadership has secured desperately-needed funds to preserve and maintain airport infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth,” said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Steve Parker, commissioner of the KDA. “I commend Gov. Bevin for his continued support of the aviation industry.”
Ten projects are slated for Fiscal Year 2017. The first five projects will be approved for design and construction while the second set of projects will be in the design phase only. The second set will proceed to the construction phase as funding permits. Some construction projects may also shift to Fiscal Year 2018 depending on available funding.
The following general aviation airports are scheduled for projects this year.
· Big Sandy Regional Airport (Prestonsburg) $2,400,000
· Tompkinsville-Monroe County Airport $1,100,000
· West Liberty Airport $750,000
· Russellville-Logan County Airport $1,600,000
· Wendell H. Ford Airport (Hazard) $750,000
· Morehead-Rowan County Airport $250,000
· Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport $250,000
· Sturgis Municipal Airport $1,325,000
· Harlan Airport $750,000
· Georgetown-Scott County Airport $1,500,000
All projects are administered through the KDA. Funding was made possible by Gov. Bevin and the 2016 General Assembly.
“The Kentucky Aviation Association (KAA) is very impressed and thankful for Gov. Bevin’s commitment to enhancing and sustaining economic growth in the Commonwealth,” said retired U.S. Marines Maj. Gen. Jerry D. Humble, president of the KAA. “Gov. Bevin is aware that Kentucky’s airports are in need of major infrastructure maintenance and improvements—many of these airports have been in need of repair and upgrades for such a long time. His support will make a difference to ensure that our state continues to prosper through this critical transportation sector.”
About the Kentucky Department of Aviation
The KDA’s primary objective is to keep all public airports safe, efficient and competitive. There are 53 general aviation airports plus six airports with commercial passenger services. KDA conducts state safety inspections at all 53 general aviation airports each year as well as federal safety inspections at each airport every three years. KDA inspects and issues landing certificates for 119 private airports and 147 heliports across Kentucky.
A recent study found that in Kentucky, general aviation contributes over $1.6 billion to the state’s total economy. In fact, general aviation airports support 9,400 jobs across the state and $454 million in labor income. Manufactured aviation components account for Kentucky’s number one export.
Kentucky is also home to the nation’s number one high school aviation education program with 50 school districts participating.
For more information, please visit http://transportation.ky.gov/Aviation/Pages/default.aspx.
Leave a Reply