The West Virginia Department of Transportation Aeronautics Commission held its quarterly meeting Thursday, October 15 at Wheeling-Ohio Airport and disbursed more than $11 million in federal and state grants.
At the meeting, the commission approved 14 state grants totaling over $600,000 to match Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants of over $11 million.
Each grant distributed Thursday is a 5% match of the FAA’s 95% funding. Earlier in the year, the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission increased state matching funds from 2.5% to 5% to airports that receive a new grant from the FAA AIP Program from April, 2009 through June 30, 2010. Historically, the Aeronautics Commission provided 2.5% in state matching funds and required a local 2.5% match to the Federal Aviation Administration’s 95% funding.
In addition to the 14 airport grants, 17 of the state’s general aviation airports were awarded $15,000 each from the Aeronautics Commission’s General Revenue Fund to be used for airport improvements.
Stated Governor Manchin, “West Virginia’s airports are key facets of building a sound transportation infrastructure. When we improve the quality of service that our airports provide, it puts us in a better position to compete, attracts people and draws more investments to West Virginia.”
“A thorough intermodal transportation system is vital to the success of the State of West Virginia in so many respects. I applaud the efforts of this Aeronautics Commission and hope we can continue this level of funding in the future,” said Transportation Secretary Mattox.
“Aviation is a critical component of the West Virginia transportation system. Our airports contribute significantly to the state’s economic growth,” stated Susan Chernenko, Director of the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission.
In May of this year, Transportation Secretary Mattox was appointed as Chairman of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Aviation, a committee which coordinates the efforts of the National Association of State Aviation Officials and AASHTO on aviation policies, regulations and funding.
The committee, on which Aeronautics Director, Susan Chernenko also serves, works closely with Congress to address the nation's air transportation needs and also serves as a forum for peer exchange, seeking to develop multimodal solutions for passenger and freight mobility at the nation's airports.