Sometimes it’s tough to know where your friends are. In many state governments, the department of transportation can be as big an enemy to general aviation as unscrupulous developers and crooked zoning officials. In Pennsylvania, however, state transportation secretary Bradley Mallory holds a different view. As quoted in a local newspaper editorial supporting airport development, Bradley said, “Airports are as vital to Pennsylvania’s transportation systems as bridges and highways. Their contribution to a community’s economy is untold.”
And Mallory has put state money where his mouth is. His remarks came as he
was announcing $8 million in state funding for small airports. Of those, Queen City Airport in Allentown is slated to receive $806,000 for an automated weather observation system, snow-removal equipment, a precision approach guidance system and runway-end identifier lights. Other beneficiaries of state fund-ing were Quakertown Airport; Wings Field in Blue Bell; Jake Arner Memorial Airport in Mahoning Township; and the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport.
For some of the projects, state funding will cover three-quarters of the cost, with the remainder coming from local sources. In other cases, 90 percent of funding will come from the federal Airport Improvement Fund, with 10 percent shared between state and local sources.