Grant to improve airport for TLM

May 29, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission has received $1.25 million from the Small Cities Block Grant Program for the 1998-1999 fiscal year.

In a letter dated May 19, Gov. Cecil H. Underwood approved the grant, which will be used to improve the infrastructure at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport to support the TLM Aerospace plant.

"Part of this grant is really going to benefit the airport because it's going to extend the taxiway," said Commissioner Robert Burkhart.

The taxiway will be built for TLM's use, but will eventually be owned by the Airport Authority. The money will also be used to build roads, if necessary, and hook up power, water, sewer and gas.


TLM Aerospace broke ground on its Martinsburg manufacturing plant last month and is expected to be operational by November.

The first of up to 200 production workers could be hired later this year.

For the first three to four years, parts will be made elsewhere and shipped to the plant in the John D. Rockefeller IV Science and Technology Center, where they will be assembled and painted.

In the fourth or fifth year, a 60,000-square-foot facility will be constructed to make the parts here. That will take about nine months to complete and could bring more jobs.

TLM expects to have the first aircraft rolling off the assembly line by April 1999.

TLM Aerospace acquired the type certificates and engineering to manufacture Tiger AG-5B and AA-5A airplanes, formerly built by American General Aircraft.

The Tiger AG-5B series will be manufactured here within the first year.

The AA-5A series will not be constructed in Martinsburg until 2000.

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