County Comment: Commissioners Tour Airport Renovations, Open Expanded Passenger Area

County Comment
Commissioners Tour Airport Renovations, Open Expanded Passenger Area
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

As part of the regular meeting of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners on June 7, Airport Manager Carolyn Motz, and URS Engineers, Mahesh Kukata, and Steve Lucchesi played host for a tour of the runway improvement project and dedication of recent improvements to the airport terminal.
The Runway Improvement Program began in April of 2004. The 22-month project has approximately 1.3-million cubic yards of fill now on site. The Commissioners viewed progress on the runway and a 9-acre, Regional Storm Water Management Pond, and heard a progress report on the overall project. URS designed and oversees the project's construction.
The airport's small, passenger "holding area" was restricted in size by the developments of 09/11/01. Federal, State and County funding supported expansion of the area that used to screen and accommodate passengers preparing to travel by commercial air carrier. The addition provides needed space and restroom facilities, while complementing the passenger terminal's original architectural merit. This 120-day project, which also included improvements to the building's existing restroom facilities and administrative offices, was completed for slightly more than $950,000 by Excel Contractors, Inc. of Hagerstown, Maryland.
Funding for the project is 95% Federal, 2.5% State and 2.5% County. Federal grant money is not income tax money, but comes from the Aviation Trust Fund, comprised of aviation user fees such as ticket taxes, aviation fuel taxes and cargo taxes.
The Commissioners, Delegate Chris Shank, Jo Ann Evans of Delegate John Donoghue's office, members of the Airport Advisory Commission and Maryland Aviation Administration officials cut a ribbon opening the holding area to the public on June 7.