Fayette County Commissioner-elect Dave Lohr said he plans to fully support the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport and its continued expansion during his tenure.
At Wednesday night’s meeting, Lohr told Fayette County Airport Authority members he believes the airport plays a vital role in the county.
“I’m going to be extremely friendly to the airport,” Lohr said.
Fayette County Commissioner Al Ambrosini, who was not elected to serve another term, said he will always be a contributor to the airport in any way he can be.
“I will continue to work on the legislative and state level to help the airport grow,” Ambrosini said. “I’m extremely happy to see that we have a new commissioner who is going to be very friendly to the airport.”
Lohr said he plans to support and seek funding for the airport to extend its runway to 10,000 feet.
“The runway extension would attract new businesses to Fayette County,” Lohr said. “There has been talk about extending the runway to 10,000 for more than 20 years. It’s time to get it done.”
Airport chairman Bill Gerke said he was very pleased to hear that the airport has been turning around its finances after struggling for several years.
“We now have a balance of $44,134.26 in our checkbook,” Gerke said. “We have gas in the ground and money in the bank. This is great news. We’ve worked very hard to turn the airport’s financial problems around.”
Gerke credited the airport’s financial success to John “Buddy” Neckeraurer, the airport’s current manager.
“Bud has worked very hard to make this happen,” Gerke said. “The teamwork that has been demonstrated at this airport has really paid off.”