Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport (BAF), located in central Massachusetts has completed a rehabilitation of its secondary runway. Runway 15/33 was last reconstructed back in 1970 and, according to airport manager Chris Willenborg, the nearly $8 million project was planned nearly a decade before funding was secured. FAA AIP grants covered approximately $6.8 million of the cost, with the state DOT and the city-owned airport paying the remainder.
Work began in April on the runway, which was ground down, repaved, grooved, and marked. The 5,000-foot runway was originally 100 feet wide, including paved shoulders, but the completed project saw it narrowed to 75 feet to meet FAA specifications. The work also saw the runway lighting upgraded to energy-efficient LEDs.
“The reconstruction of Runway 15-33 was an important airport infrastructure improvement project at Westfield-Barnes Regional that was completed with the collaboration of the FAA, MassDOT, and city of Westfield,” Willenborg told AIN. “Not only is BAF an essential transportation asset to the region but it is an economic engine with over 2,100 direct/indirect jobs with an economic output of over $236 million per year.”
The project was completed as the airport was experiencing a strong upswing in operations following the Covid-induced decline in March and April. For July, Willenborg said the Springfield-area gateway saw a 43 percent increase in tempo over the previous year.