Pittsfield - Today, State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) announce that the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission (MAC) has awarded two grants, totaling $10,745, to Pittsfield Municipal Airport.
“These funding awards represent the state’s commitment towards making our municipal airports and airspaces more safe and accessible,” said Downing. “Improving airport access in our region will provide a much needed economic boost.”
This funding is part of the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) Airport Improvement Program with eligible projects currently receiving 95% FAA funding. The remaining 5% is divided equally between the MAC and the City who are responsible for 2.5% funding commitments. This program leverages significant federal funds to help sustain a safe and efficient national air transportation system.
“The momentum of the Pittsfield Municipal Airport expansion has been long in coming. These steps forward are small but critical components,” remarked Pignatelli. “There will not be a bigger or better economic impact seen in the Berkshires than on the day the newly expanded airport is operational.”
Mark Germanowski, Manager of the Pittsfield Municipal Airport said, “These grant awards are significant and absolutely vital to the Pittsfield Municipal Airport Commission. These funds provide the means for a municipality to effectively maintain a safe and efficient airport facility to comply with both FAA and MAC regulations.”
Airspace Obstruction Analysis and On-Airport Vegetation Removal
Pittsfield Municipal Airport
This $8,750 award to the Pittsfield Municipal Airport will help pay for new aerial photographs of the airport and its surroundings to assess ground contours and vegetative/manmade obstructions and object elevations. Through routine obstruction analysis, the Aeronautics Commission found that several trees located in the southwest quadrant of the Pittsfield Municipal Airport have penetrated the airspace. For safety purposes and to maintain State and Federal compliance, these trees must be removed and a portion of the funds awarded for this project will help pay for those costs. While this award does not pertain to the larger expansion project, data collected may be used for future projects including the planned runway extension.
Pittsfield Municipal Airport
MAC has awarded $1,995 in funding to assist the Pittsfield Municipal Airport in preparing and submitting the necessary environmental permits prior to construction of a 950 foot extension and related improvements to one of its runways. The overall project includes a fully compliant runway safety area, installation of a medium intensity approach light system and an upgrade of existing instrument approach to a precision instrument approach. This project will satisfy Local, State and Federal environmental regulations allowing the project to move forward.