$8.9M For Huntington Tri-State Runway Rehab After Funding

May 27--HUNTINGTON -- Major rehabilitation of three runways at Huntington Tri-State Airport will begin later this year following the announcement of $8.9 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airport director Jerry Brienza said the runway renovations will be an important part of the airport's overall package.

"This allows us to maintain our airport in a way that can give us a competitive advantage," Brienza said. "We are grateful in a time of diminished funding, our delegation can find the funds to help us continue to be economically viable and serve our citizens and community."

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced the funding Wednesday.

"Continuing the process of refurbishing Huntington Tri-State's taxiways and replacing the airport lighting control system will improve safety and security for passengers and operators alike, while enhancing our airport and boosting our region's long-term economic competitiveness. I will continue to use my position and experience to fight to bring home these much needed Federal investments," said Rahall.

The FAA Airport Improvement Program, which Rahall helped to create, awarded the funds to the Tri-State Airport Authority for taxiway improvements, including replacing pavement and a new lighting system to enhance safe airfield operations during low visibility conditions. Once the next round of runway work is complete, approximately 70 percent of Huntington Tri-State's taxiways will have been rehabilitated.

"Maintaining critical Federal aviation investments in southern West Virginia, which support the planning and financing of capital projects at airports like Huntington Tri-State, as well as air service between West Virginia communities and major airline hubs, is necessary to ensure West Virginians have timely access to destinations throughout the United States and around the globe," said Rahall.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

Copyright 2014 - The Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky.