With planned renovations and the implementation of a Senate bill, changes will take place at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced recipients of funding for the 2022 fiscal year through the Consolidated Appropriations Act.
The Wood County Airport Authority was awarded a total of $737,000 for terminal and parking lot renovations.
Authority board member Glen Kelly said the terminal project will include a remodel of the restrooms, ticket counter and passenger seating areas.
“Our restrooms are very old, they really need updated. They still look like they came from the 1970s or 80s,” Kelly said.
Airline and General Aviation customers will benefit from the parking lot paving, Kelly said.
During Tuesday’s airport authority meeting, board members discussed State Senate Bill 434 which was approved by Gov. Jim Justice on March 30.
Kelly said the bill changes the way airports are established to include hellaports and vertiports, sites that allow takeoffs and landings of helicopters and electric vehicles.
“Regional airports have the ability to do eminent domain in any county in the state. It can be done without coordinating with the other airport or the county,” Kelly said.
Several airport managers across the state opposed the bill, including interim Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport manager Mick Galusky.
“We had recommended amendments to limit it to certain counties. We would like to see how things like electric vehicles are going to develop. I think each individual county and the airports that are in existence now should be part of that conversation and part of that decision making,” Kelly said.
Kelly said he doesn’t believe the senate bill will impact the airport until about five or 10 years down the road.
“We are in no way opposed to the development of electronic vehicles for aviation. We just all believe if it was going to affect a local airport authority or airport that those folks be involved in this,” he said.
Traffic toward the airport will be impacted for the next three to four weeks due to roadwork along W.Va. 2. Crews will be working to widen the road and Kelly said the demolition of the structures on the site of the property has started.
“If you’re coming from Route 2, you could experience some delays. You may want to come from the Williamstown side,” Kelly said.