Martinsburg airport wants to connect runways

February 17, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A plan to directly connect the two runways at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport is part of the airport authority's budget for next year.

William E. Walkup, the manager and administrator of the authority, said a 2,300-foot-long taxiway off the north/south runway now stops at a dead-end.

The authority is proposing to add an extension that will be about 800-feet-by-150-feet and will intersect the other runway, he said.

Without a connection, planes are forced to taxi on and off the runways one at a time. The new taxiway would link the 5,000-foot north/south runway to the 7,000-foot east/west runway, Walkup said.


The airport authority asked the Berkeley County Commission on Thursday for a slight increase in funding, from $36,750 this fiscal year to $38,333 next year.

The County Commission is continuing to entertain budget requests this month, as it prepares to decide on a budget by the end of March. The next fiscal year will begin in July.

The airport authority manages the operation of the airport and an industrial park there.

Walkup said the 310-acre park is about one-third full. Tenants include Sino Swearingen and Tiger Aircraft, both of which will make corporate planes, and S. Schwab Co., which distributes Ralph Lauren products.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration will fund 90 percent of the taxiway extension, the state of West Virginia will fund 5 percent, and Berkeley County and the city of Martinsburg will each fund 2.5 percent.

A proposed budget line of $8,333 includes the county's share, Walkup said.

In other budget requests on Thursday:

* The Boarman Arts Center asked for $20,000, which is $19,000 more than this year.

* The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau asked for $95,000, which is $11,500 more than this year.

* The county agricultural extension office asked for $62,693, which is $13,892 more than this year.

* Potomac Headwaters RC&D (Resource, Conservation & Development) asked for $7,000. The group received $600 this year.

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