The Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport broke ground Monday on its new 10-bay T-Hangar.
Special guest Congressman Hal Rogers applauded airport administration, state and local officials for their work on the grant that will fund the hangar’s construction.
“Thank you for devoting yourselves to this worthy cause of creating a real asset for your county and community,” said Rogers. “You’ve equipped yourself with a real tool.”
The $980,000 grant through the Federal Aviation Administration was announced by Rogers on July 2. The 13,000 square-foot hangar is expected to be complete in November.
“Airports are vital to the economic, industrial and commercial growth of any community,” said Airport Board Chairman Jeff Shelley. “Williamsburg, Corbin and Whitley County are prime for that growth, and we are thankful for the support we have received from all of the folks here.”
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said, “Another hanger will add more opportunities for more aircraft at the airport, obviously, and the more aircraft we can house allows for more economic growth possibilities.”
Kentucky Department of Aviation Commissioner Mark Carter said, “I had some comments to make about the importance of airports to economic development workforce, and I think the announcement earlier today from the Firestone organization about the investment that they are continuing to make here in your community kind of says it all. Companies like that want to have good viable airports with long usable runways and hangars for their aircrafts.”
Harrison further explained, “Corporations use airports to get back and forth quickly, and the only way to attract those companies is by having that capability. A lot of them see it as a necessity and an economic advantage to have access to and operate from a regional airport. I’m not predicting a surge in corporations, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt us to have an airport in place when Firestone chose to invest 50+ million dollars in Williamsburg. It could also enhance our tourism possibilities.”
Not only is Firestone an example of a company that is impacted by the airport, Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus also said the new hangar will be a great addition especially with the new horse racing track coming to the area.
“I think with the track, harness racing, expansion into our area, is really going to see a need for increased air traffic, and this just helps us take one more step down the road that we are on. I am really thankful to Congressman Rogers and everyone who had part in this project,” said Razmus.