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HTS Reviews 5 Year Capital Improvement Plan

The following article was reprinted from the Herald-Dispatch

Airport making plans for improvements

Jan. 16, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

HUNTINGTON — Huntington Tri-State Airport has laid out a draft for its five-year capital improvement plan to submit to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airport Director Jerry Brienza presented the proposed plan to board members at their Thursday meeting, saying that this year's plans include creating designs for rehabilitation of a taxiway that is awkward for some planes to use, improvements to an access road to the airport, as well as heating and cooling and security updates to the terminal building. Other proposed plans for this year include acquiring new snow removal equipment, as some of the old equipment is 30 years old, Brienza said, along with several other projects.

Next year's plans include the third phase of rehabilitating the apron, which is area where aircraft are parked, loaded, refueled, or boarded. The airport also plans to pursue landslide development and a new terminal. The new terminal/parking garage is a project for which the airport had previously applied for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, but yet been granted any funds.

Cathy Burns, an airport board member and president of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, asked whether pursuit of the new terminal and parking garage could be pursued earlier. Brienza said that FAA likely would not consider funding that until all the safety-related outdoor renovations are taken care of this year.

The plans for 2017-20 include more snow removal equipment and taxiway work, as well as replacing the fuel farm and more.

Board members also received an update on finances and enplanements for the final month of 2014.

Finance Director Don Price said 2014 finished with revenue being roughly $41,900 over expenses. Marketing Director Beckie McKinley said the new Allegiant Airlines flight to Punta Gorda, Florida, is doing well, and that December brought an airport-wide 15 percent increase in enplanements, 33 percent for Allegiant alone. The airport finished the year with 95,827 enplanements, which was down just 2.5 percent from 2013.

"That's not bad, comparing to last year when we had the Fort Lauderdale flights," McKinley said. Allegiant's direct flights from Huntington to Fort Lauderdale were discontinued in the fall of 2013.

This year looks promising with Allegiant adding 40 flights to the spring schedule and 39 flights to the summer schedule, she said. Allegiant's seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach will begin again in May and be offered through August.


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