Governor Says Kentucky Will Invest $20M Over Two Years in General Aviation Runways
LEXINGTON, KY Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announces that general aviation airports across that state will receive $20 million over the next two years to fund overdue airport pavement renovations.
The Kentucky Department of Aviation, a unit of the state's Transportation Cabinet, used the results of a 2011 study on airport pavement conditions, which was updated in 2014, to prioritize the projects.
The funds will help 34 general aviation airports begin pavement improvement work on runways, taxiways and aprons. The projects can range from crack repair to complete overlays; the announcement said some facilities might receive complete reconstructions.
"Every year, hundreds of individuals and companies consider bringing their business to Kentucky. Many of them travel here on corporate jets and land at one of our non-commercial airports," said Bevin. "First impressions about Kentucky's business communities are made starting from the moment an aircraft touches down. For this reason, investing in general aviation airport infrastructure is not merely cosmetic it's vital to strengthening the health of Kentucky's economy."
The announcement also said a recent study found that general aviation contributes more than $1.6 billion to the state's economy and supports 9,400 jobs. In addition, manufactured aviation components account for Kentucky's largest export, it said.
Ten projects are slated for the current fiscal year 2017, with the first five to be approved for design and construction while the second group of five will be in the design phase but will proceed to construction as funding permits. Some construction projects may also shift to fiscal 2018 depending on available funding, the governor's office said.
The KDA conducts state safety inspections at all 53 Kentucky general aviation airports each year, as well as federal safety inspections at each airport every three years. The KDA also inspects and issues landing certificates for 119 private airports and 147 heliports across Kentucky.