New Bedford airport lands another $4.9M for upgrades

NEW BEDFORD — The federal government has awarded $4.9 million to the city for work at the New Bedford Regional Airport, the latest round of funding for ongoing safety improvements.
The airport plans to carry out safety improvements over several years, for a total cost of about $15 million, mostly using federal and state grants. The $4.9 million from the Federal Aviation Administration will contribute to those efforts.
“What this means is the project continues to move forward,” Mayor Scott W. Lang said, welcoming the FAA grant.
This round of funding will help pay for mitigation efforts, such as recreation of wetlands, legal issues related to easements, and survey and obstruction analysis, Lang said.
The project involves filling 7.9 acres of wetlands adjacent to the airport, located at 1569 Airport Road, in order to construct buffer zones at each end of the primary runway. These buffer zones, or runway safety areas, are required by the FAA, according to past descriptions of the work.
“It’s for runway safety area projects we have been working on for the last couple of years,” said Thomas Vick, the airport manager, referring to the latest grant.
Lang said future funding would support later stages in the project, including runway refurbishment and lighting upgrades.
“This is going to be a project that establishes New Bedford as having one of the key regional airports in the state, so it’s very important,” he said.
September 07, 2011
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