The Morehead-Rowan County Clyde A. Thomas Regional Airport has been allocated $250,000 in state funds for overdue airport pavement renovations.
Gov. Matt Bevin made the announcement last week that general aviation airports across the state will receive $20 million over the next two years to help fund the restorations.
“Every year, hundreds of individuals and companies consider bringing their business to Kentucky. Many of them travel here on corporate jets and land at one of our non-commercial airports,” said Bevin. “First impressions about Kentucky’s business communities are made starting from the moment an aircraft touches down. For this reason, investing in general aviation airport infrastructure is not merely cosmetic — it’s vital to strengthening the health of Kentucky’s economy.”
Bevin said it’s all about keeping pilots and passengers safe.
“Maintaining and preserving airport infrastructure is critical to the economic viability of our Commonwealth,” the governor added. “These funds will provide needed financial capital to Morehead-Rowan County Airport. This will allow for a variety of infrastructure enhancements such as repairing and improving runways and runway lighting and also for conducting obstruction surveys to ensure passenger safety aboard aircraft flying in and out of Kentucky.”
Tim James, Airport board chair, said the improvements will help maintain the runway “in good order” by “protecting” it for the future.
“This contract will help seal cracks in which seams are created as the pavement separates,” James said. “This occurs on the runways, taxiways and ramps. The cracks will be cleaned out and then sealed to keep the roadways in great shape.”
The $20 million statewide project involves 34 general aviation airports. The funds will pay for the restoration and maintenance of pavements in poor condition.
The pavement conditions will determine how the money is spent on the projects, which range from crack repair to complete overlays. Some runways, taxiways or aprons may even receive a complete reconstruction.
“The $250,000 in additional funding is great news for the Morehead-Rowan County Airport,” Sen. Steve West said. “Thank you to Gov. Bevin and to my colleagues in the Senate who were a part of this effort, which is definitely a positive move for the local economy.”
“Airports play a critical role in creating commerce across the Commonwealth, and I was honored to serve on the conference committee during the 2016 legislative session that ensured the placement of these funds in the final budget,” said Rep. Rocky Adkins. “Our own Morehead-Rowan County Clyde A. Thomas Regional Airport is very important not only in terms of serving aviation traffic, but also in helping grow our local and regional economy.”
James said bids for the local project will be opened on Aug. 18 and work will begin shortly thereafter.
“This will give us a big boost,” James said. “We didn’t expect it, but this is something that happens at every airport with normal wear and tear, and we are excited to have been selected for the rehab project.”
James said when the pavement work begins, the airport may have to close for two days.
All projects are administered through the Kentucky Department of Aviation. Funding was made possible by the 2016 General Assembly.
“Gov. Bevin’s unwavering leadership has secured desperately-needed funds to preserve and maintain airport infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth,” said Steve Parker, commissioner of the KDA. “I commend Gov. Bevin for his continued support of the aviation industry.”
Another airport in the region receiving funding was West Liberty Airport with $750,000.
Brad Stacy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.