HARRISBURG The William T. Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven is one of 27 airports across Pennsylvania that will improve facilities and enhance safety with a piece of a $12.6 million investment of federal and state funds.
The airport at the east end of Lock Haven will receive $977,708 for runway work, according to an announcement by Gov. Tom Corbett.
The rehabilitated runway will be only 75 feet wide, which is regulation size, according to the city. It is 100 feet wide righ tnow, and the project will narrow it by 12.5 feet on each side.
Lighting also will be upgraded and the lights relocated as the runway is narrowed so they remain close to the runway's edge. The city's local match for the work is roughly $60,000.
The project could start in June, but the city does not want it to interfere with the annual Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven Fly-In, slated for June 20 to 23.
The state portion of funding $805,547 from PennDOT's aviation development program comes from the state's jet fuel tax and leverages more than $743,047 in local matching funds.
The Federal Aviation Administration is providing $11.8 million in grants through the block grant program, which is funded through taxes collected nationally on airline tickets, freight waybills, international departure fees, and the sale of aviation fuel. Airports receive up to 95 percent of eligible project costs for projects included in Pennsylvania's 12-year transportation program.
Public-use airports in the state are eligible for the aviation development program. Airports eligible for the federal block grant program include: general aviation airports, designated reliever airports, and non-primary commercial airline airports (those with fewer than 10,000 annual passengers) that are part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.
The state has 133 public-use airports and heliports, and 15 airports have scheduled commercial service.
"More than 290,000 people in Pennsylvania rely on the aviation industry for jobs," Corbett said. "It's vital to maintain investments in these airports so they can continue operating safely and are able to expand to meet business demands."
Other airports in the region that will receive funding are:
- Clarion County: Clarion County Airport - $290,806 to design a runway overlay project and update the airport master plan.
- Clearfield County: Clearfield-Lawrence Airport - $504,291 to rehabilitate the runway lighting system and update the airport master plan.
- Elk County: St. Mary's Municipal Airport - $250,694 to update the airport master plan.
- Mifflin County: Mifflin County Airport - $200,556 to construct a hangar taxiway.