July 31, 2013

Federal grant to fund renovations this year at Pittsfield airport

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD — The Pittsfield Municipal Airport is one of several in the state that will start renovations this year after receiving a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The airport has received $526,302, which will cover 90 percent of the project cost for expanding an area used by planes moving between runways and for outdoor storage of planes, said Town Manager Kathryn Ruth on Thursday.

The rest of the project will be funded by the state and the town, which will each provide about $29,000, Ruth said.

“It’s great news. The airport is a great economic engine for the town. It helps business in the area and is also used for recreation,” said Ruth. She said the town has already raised the money it plans to contribute to the project.

In 2011, the airport saw 8,700 flights, said Ruth. She estimates that number has grown since then and she expects it to continue to rise with the completion of the renovations, which should take place during the next year.

When completed there will be space for 13 additional planes to be stored outside, more than double the airport’s current outdoor storage space, and there will be more space between runways, which will make flying in and out of the airport safer, Ruth said.

Other airports in the state that also received the federal aid include the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, Bethel Regional Airport, Old Town Municipal Airport, Northern Maine Regional Airport, Northern Aroostook Regional Airport and Bangor International Airport.

Rachel Ohm —  612-2368

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