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Airport raises facility charge

January 29, 2002

Airport raises facility charge



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


Hagerstown Regional Airport will start charging a higher passenger facility charge for scheduled flights beginning March 1.

The higher charge will help raise $308,000 for three projects at the airport, said Chuck Trice, project engineer for New Jersey-based URS, a consultant to the airport.

The charge is presently $3 per flight, but will increase to $4.50 starting March 1.

The airport began imposing the $3 charge in 1999 after receiving permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to do so.

Most airports in the area charge a fee of about $4.50, Airport Manager Carolyn Motz said.

The charge does not apply to private non-scheduled flights.

Trice said the money collected from the increase will provide:

-- $206,000 for construction of a building that will house equipment used for snow removal.

-- $82,000 for snow removal equipment.

-- $20,000 for a wheelchair lift device.

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The increase will stay in place until the $308,000 is raised, Trice said. That is expected to occur in January 2004.

At that point, the airport would have to apply again to the FAA to continue the fee, Trice said.

Hagerstown has daily flights on USAirways Express to Pittsburgh.

Boston-Maine Airways of Portsmouth, N.H., a division of Pan American, recently started taking passengers from Cumberland, Md., to Baltimore-Washington International Airport with a stop in Hagerstown.

Motz has said Hagerstown airport officials are in talks with a third unidentified airline about offering flights in and out of the airport. She refused to comment further.

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