Southern West Virginia airports receive federal funding

Raleigh County

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Senator Joe Manchin announced on July 6, 2021 that $5.3 million will be distributed to seven airports in the Mountain State.

Airports are a driving force of tourism in West Virginia and constantly need repairs. The money from the U.S. Department of transportation will go towards infrastructure repairs for the Raleigh County Memorial Airport and the Greenbrier Valley Airport.

“We’re very excited that our congressional delegation has supported not only this airport, but all the airports in West Virginia because all the airports need infrastructure work. We look forward to getting some of these projects on the way,” said Brian Belcher, Director of the Greenbrier Valley Airport.

The Greenbrier Valley Airport will receive $1.4 million. Belcher said the money will mainly go towards security upgrades and snow removal equipment.

“This grant will go towards installing a new security fence which is needed, it’s not the perimeter fence at the airport but it’s a parts of it that have been in place for many many years and it just needs to be upgraded,” said Belcher.

The grant will also fund a new airport tower location and automated security system.

Raleigh County Memorial Airport will receive $533,465. That money will go towards new snow removal equipment.

“The good news is having the kind of equipment we need to keep the wintertime operation functional,” said Tom Cochran, Airport Manager at Raleigh County Memorial Airport.

Travel has increased at both airports as COVID restrictions have decreased. As a result, airports are constantly applying for grants and funding for new projects.

“We want to get new T-hangers that’s going to cost us about $2.8 million, but we need a funding source for it, we need to add on to our terminal to accommodate for more passengers and more aircraft coming in,” said Belcher.

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