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MassDOT Aeronautics LogoThe Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced an award of approximately $216,600 to New Bedford Regional Airport which will allow infrastructure improvements to be made so that the airport will be able to begin accommodating commercial flights.

This award will be combined with $54,200 from the City of New Bedford and used to repaint an airport runway to ensure it meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial requirements. These repainting operations are expected to begin by September 30, 2017 and conclude by October 30, 2017.

“We are pleased to work with our local partners to leverage investments at New Bedford Regional Airport that will enable the addition of commercial air service and support southeastern Massachusetts’ local economic priorities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Strengthening transportation infrastructure with investments in our local and regional airports will provide residents and visitors more convenient access to reach the destinations and many opportunities Massachusetts’ communities have to offer.”

“We are proud to continue working closely with our partners at the City of New Bedford and in the Legislature, and award these funds for infrastructure upgrades at New Bedford Regional Airport,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This award will allow an airport runway to be improved for the landing and takeoff of commercial aircraft, opening future opportunities for passengers traveling to and from New Bedford and the region.”

In July 2017, New Bedford Regional Airport received its “Part 139 certification,” from the FAA which will allow the airport to accommodate passenger-carrying flights on aircraft with more than nine seats. This certification was made possible in part due to $3.9 million in state and $8.9 million in federal investments in the airport and its infrastructure in the last five years. The airport is the 23rd airport in New England to receive this certification from the federal government.

“I am very pleased that I could work with the New Bedford Airport Commissioners in securing this important grant,” said Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation Representative William M. Straus (D-Mattapoisett). “The Administration’s approval of this grant as a result of the direct involvement of the Lt Governor will help in keeping the airport in compliance with its Part 139 certification. This will serve to enhance the economic and transportation status of the airport”.

“Coming on the heels of FAA approval of expanded commercial air service at New Bedford Regional Airport and federal funding to rebuild the secondary runway, this additional funding will hasten our effort to modernize the airport,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I believe that in the long run this effort will make businesses in Greater New Bedford more competitive and lead to job creation, and I am grateful to the Baker-Polito administration and Representative Bill Straus for their work to secure the funding.”

According to MassDOT’s Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study, New Bedford Regional Airport in 2015 supported 297 jobs with a payroll of over $10.6 million and generated over $32.4 million in economic output. This is an increase of 60 jobs and over $6 million in economic output since 2011.

“This grant will provide for airport upgrades which will in turn lead to increased passenger air travel to our region,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “Our airport has been underutilized for far too long and this funding will help with our economic revival along with the many enhancements made downtown, including to the State Pier and Route 18, through past state bonding and budget appropriations initiated in the Senate. I am pleased to work with the Baker-Polito administration on these improvements.

“This funding serves as a testament to our region’s expanding economy and role as a transportation hub in New England,” said State Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral (D-New Bedford). “Forward-looking capital investments, like these, are critical to support a growing New Bedford and Massachusetts.”

“Airports are more than just runways and buildings. They connect Massachusetts with people and places throughout the region and the country, and allow our economy to continue growing and developing,” said MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator Jeffrey DeCarlo. “MassDOT is pleased to collaborate with key stakeholders and continue promoting reliability, economic development, and better environmental stewardship throughout our aviation systems so we can better support people who are traveling by aircraft now and in the future.”

Massachusetts’ system of 39 public-use airports supports more than 162,000 jobs with over $6.1 billion in total annual payroll, and generates $16.6 billion in total economic activity. The MassDOT Aeronautics Division advances the operation and development of these airports through grant funding, airport inspections, technical guidance, statewide planning initiatives, aviation education outreach and communication with local, state and federal officials.

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