Officials with the City of Morgantown, Morgantown Municipal Airport and the Morgantown Area Partnership held a press conference today to announce that construction of the runway extension project is expected to begin in the fall of 2020.
For the past five years, city officials have worked to submit the appropriate documentation and receive concurrence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the runway extension project. The next step in that process was to receive FAA concurrence on the Environmental Assessment and Benefit/Cost Analysis, which the city received earlier this month.
“It is truly rewarding to see this come to fruition,” said Morgantown City Manager Paul Brake. “Having a professional airport director, along with the new CEO of the Morgantown Area Partnership, we can move this aviation facility and the commercial park forward adding strong sustainable economic vibrancy to the community.”
The benefits realized by the runway extension go beyond the city limits. The dirt that is needed for the construction of the runway will come from the future I-68 Commerce Park. Tied together with the runway extension, this will be the most significant economic development project in the history of the city. The project has received support from local businesses, the Monongalia County Commission, Star City, the City of Westover, West Virginia University and the Morgantown Area Partnership all of which have been instrumental in moving the project forward.
“The I-68 Commerce Park and the runway extension project will have a major impact on economic development for our area,” said Russ Rogerson, president and CEO of the Morgantown Area Partnership. “With the start of the runway extension project we will begin to see some real movement on the Commerce Park. It’s an exciting day for the greater Morgantown area.”
The current length of the runway is 5,199 feet, making it the shortest runway for commercial carrier airports in the state. The extension will add 1,001 feet to the runway and will enhance and modernize the airport’s facilities to help it maintain current operations, recruit new businesses and improve safety at the airport.
The project is estimated to take at least five years to complete at an estimated cost of $50 million. A majority of the funding for the design and construction of the project will come from the FAA Airport Improvement Program. The remaining cost will be funded by the City of Morgantown and the State of West Virginia.