Last month Pittsfield Municipal Airport in Western Massachusetts officially cut the ribbon on its extended Runway 8-26, a $22.5-million project a long time in the making.
New England-based aviation specialists from Stantec led the 10-plus-year effort of extensive airport planning, environmental permitting requirements, financial feasibility assessments, and public and regulatory agency coordination to develop one of the largest General Aviation airport improvement projects in Western Massachusetts in decades.
“It’s tremendously rewarding to see this project completed,” says Stantec principal-in-charge David Dargie. “This airport is vital to the economy of Pittsfield and the whole Berkshire Region, and we’re thrilled to see it come to fruition after so many years of working to make sure it was successful for the City, its residents, and the airport’s users.”
The 790-foot runway extension included adding a taxiway turn-around area, improving runway safety areas, removing vegetative obstructions to protected airspace, and installing obstruction lighting, all within a complicated context of publicly used land and a sensitive environment. Stantec and its team worked with the city to relocate and restore an adjacent recreation area and 3,500 feet of roads and utilities, as well as protect and mitigate any potential environmental impacts. This mitigation included restoring a riverfront area, creating wetlands, transplanting rare and endangered plants, removing invasive plant species, and removing a dam from a nearby stream to restore it to natural free-flow conditions.
The October 31 ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the long-awaited opening, featuring past and present mayors of the City of Pittsfield, two US Congressional representatives, FAA Regional Administrator Amy Corbett, Regional FAA Airports Division personnel, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary of Transportation Richard Davies, MassDOT Aeronautics Division officials, a bevy of local and state representatives and city councilors, and several local TV stations and other media outlets.
Stantec has worked at Pittsfield Municipal Airport for over 20 years, completing projects ranging from major runway work, like the Runway 8-26 extension, to master planning and environmental assessments. Stantec’s aviation team works at dozens of General Aviation airports across the country as well as major international commercial airports in cities like Boston, New York, Phoenix, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Nassau, Bahamas.