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Feds make $5.8 million installment payment toward Hagerstown runway extension

April 11, 2008

The U.S. Department of Transportation has made a $5.8 million installment payment to Washington County as a part of the federal government's agreement to fund part of the runway extension project at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The money is part of the $48.5 million the Federal Aviation Administration agreed to pay toward the $61.8-million extension, said Mahesh S. Kukata, a consultant on the project.

The extension project began in 2004 and was largely finished by December 2007, when the airport held a ribbon cutting to open the new runway.

The runway was extended from 5,461 feet to 7,000 feet with additional 1,000 feet safety areas at each end.

The project also included the installation of two, fully-functioning category-1 landing systems and the acquisition of land for runway protection zones.

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Kukata said most of the site work on the project is complete.

"We still have some minor items to finish in the next month or so," Kukata said.

Kukata said most of the federal funding for the project was paid to the county early on and that the county only has a few more payments to receive from the FAA.

The airport still does not have commercial air service, which it lost when a federal subsidy for carrier Air Midwest ended last September.

-- Joshua Bowman

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