Fitchburg Airport among first 4 of 15 targeted for Investment in 2015

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division today announced plans to build or renovate general aviation airport administrative facilities in 15 communities during the next five years. Fitchburg Municipal Airport is among the first four airports targeted for construction of a new facility beginning in 2015.

The 15 general aviation airports were chosen as part of a comprehensive, statewide Airport Administration Building Master Plan that identified projects based upon several factors including public safety needs and the amount of activity at the airport. Each new airport administrative facility will be designed and built according to a flexible prototype design that considers local needs.

"Our airport economic impact study identified nearly $12 billion in economic activity and more than 124,000 jobs traced to aviation in the Commonwealth," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "That extraordinary success requires continued strategic investment to ensure these airports continue to serve as economic drivers and gateways for business and tourism."

"The Statewide Airport System Plan review found a significant need to improve administration facilities at general aviation airports, with some airports lacking any facilities and many others working in aging buildings in need of repair," said MassDOT Aeronautics Administrator Christopher Willenborg.


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"These new or renovated facilities will be state-of-the-art, accessible, environmentally sustainable, and better serve our customers."

"Our current terminal building has served the Airport well since it's construction in 1952, but the airports needs has outgrown the available space. And in recent years it has begun to show it's age," said Scott A Ellis, the Manager of the Fitchburg Municipal Airport. "The new building will provide much needed space for the administration/operations area, a restaurant, and a pilots' lounge. This is a welcome improvement to an institution that has served north Central Massachusetts since 1929!"

"The Fitchburg Municipal Airport, as a result of this funding, has the potential to increase their role as an economic driver in our local economy," said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan. This is great news for the City of Fitchburg and I'd like to thank the Massachusetts Aeronautics Division for this funding."

"This is wonderful long overdue news! This will provide the resource for the Fitchburg Airport to build a new terminal. The Fitchburg Municipal Airport is an important component in the growth of an effective local and regional economy," said Representative Stephen L. DiNatale.

The four airport projects currently in design and expected to begin construction in 2015, with estimated costs, include:

* Beverly Municipal Airport, $3.74 million

* Fitchburg Municipal Airport, $3.45 million

* Mansfield Municipal Airport, $3.88 million

* Southbridge Municipal Airport, $1.05 million

Each project is state-funded with a required 5% local match. Project construction is expected to take approximately nine months.

An additional 11 airports are scheduled for construction or renovation in 2016 through 2019. Six airports scheduled for construction of new administrative facilities include Chatham, Gardner, Harriman-and-West in North Adams, Orange, Plymouth, Taunton, and Walter J. Koladza Airport in Great Barrington. Four airports scheduled for renovation of existing facilities include Pittsfield, Lawrence, Marlboro, and Turners Falls in Montague.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state's various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the "Where's My Bus and Train?" apps and "Fast 14" work.  For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.