MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey joined local, state and federal officials to celebrate the completion of the runway expansion and safety improvements project at the Pittsfield Municipal Airport, a $22.5 million investment in the Commonwealth’s aviation infrastructure.
“Transportation infrastructure investment is a hallmark of the Patrick Administration and the runway improvements in Pittsfield cannot be overlooked,” said Secretary Davey. “Quality of life, business and tourism opportunities in the Berkshires are positively affected by bringing the Pittsfield Municipal Airport into the 21st century.”
The permitting, design and construction process spanned more than a decade and included countless advocates, stakeholders and current and former elected leaders. Funding for the project came from both the local, state and federal levels.
“The Federal Aviation Administration has worked with hundreds of airports around the country to make sure their runway safety areas meet our high federal standards,” said FAA Regional Administrator Amy Corbett. “We’re pleased that Pittsfield has finished work on this critical safety improvement.”
The investment brought the runway into compliance with federal safety standards by adding more than 1000 feet to the runway. The work included vegetation and environmental mitigation, culvert installation, utility and roadway relocation, runway extension and safety area earthwork and paving, storm water mitigation infrastructure, and lighting installation.
Prior to project completion, there were approximately 40,000 aircraft operations annually at Pittsfield. The combination of the enhanced runway safety areas and the runway extension offers an opportunity for growth in operations with an infrastructure that is better equipped to serve business and aircraft.
In its 2011 Statewide Economic Impact Study, MassDOT calculated the effects of aviation on the Commonwealth’s economy. Pittsfield Municipal Airport supports 125 jobs and is responsible for $18 million in economic output each year. Combined, the airports in Pittsfield, North Adams and Great Barrington generate $37.5 million for the Berkshires economy and support 300 jobs.