Thursday, August 11, 2011

Governor Beshear Announces Expansion of Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport

OWENSBORO, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear today joined community and airport leaders from the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport (OWB) to announce the airport will undergo an expansion of its terminal. The expansion will significantly increase the size of the waiting area, along with the baggage handling and pick-up areas. The Airport, local Transportation Security Administration and the Airport’s Fixed Base Operator are adding three full-time and several part-time positions because of the terminal expansion and additional flights.

“The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport continues to experience significant growth, which is good for both economic development and tourism,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Commonwealth is proud to partner with community and airport officials to make further enhancements that will not only improve the terminal, but will create jobs for Kentuckians.”

Since the time of the airport’s 1993 Master Plan Update, more than $26 million in federal, state and local funds have been invested in improving OWB’s airfield infrastructure. Several runways have been extended and the airport now boasts the third longest runway in Kentucky.

The improved airfield was critical to OWB’s attraction of Allegiant Airlines in February 2009, which offers flights to and from Orlando, Fla. Allegiant recently announced a new passenger service from OWB to Las Vegas, NV beginning in October.

“The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport is becoming the new front door for our region. This terminal expansion will be noticed by visitors arriving and departing Owensboro – Daviess Co. and as such, will be a direct reflection on the immediate region,” said Ray Asmar, Chairman of the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport Board of Directors. “A mile of highway will take you a mile, but, a mile of runway will take you anywhere!”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved the airport for a no-interest loan to help facilitate the improvements, which will have a positive impact on economic development. The loan will be repaid through entitlement proceeds received from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In addition, the Department for Local Government awarded $500,000 in multi-county coal severance funds to Daviess and Ohio counties in effort to help complete the terminal expansion and improvement project at OWB. Multi-County Local Government Economic Development Funds (LGEDF)/Coal Severance Funds are a portion of coal severance taxes set aside to fund projects benefiting two or more coal-producing counties.

“This airport explansion could not have come at a better time as the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport has just been awarded an additional jet service route,” said Rep. Tommy Tompson, of Owensboro. “The expansion will alllow our airport to better serve the needs of its customers and is a great investment. I want to thank Governor Beshear for his continued support of our community and for his leadership, and I want to thank our local leaders for moving this project from the drawing board to reality.”

No comments: