HARRISBURG, Dec. 13, 2013 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna) and Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne) voiced their approval today of a $2.6 million investment in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport by the Pennsylvania Transportation Commission.
The money will help the vital transportation hub tear down the airport’s old terminal building complex and build a commercial aircraft hangar.
“This important state investment will keep the airport competitive and it will modernize facilities to meet the needs and demands of a 21st century traveling public,” Blake said.
“An investment in our region’s airport infrastructure is an investment in our present and future economic vitality,” Carroll said.
The new support comes on the heels of PennDOT’s decision in July to move forward on a $42 million highway safety project that will link the Grimes Industrial Park with the airport, add longer on- and off-ramps on Exit 178 of I-81, and include three roundabouts for more efficient traffic flow.
Rep. Carroll said the two projects will work well together.
“This development at our airport, combined with the nearby airport connector highway project, significantly enhances safe and efficient travel,” the Hughestown Democrat said.
Sen. Blake, an Archbald Democrat, agreed.
“It is a very important investment at the airport, and timely in the wake of the start of the $42 million I-81 interchange upgrade,” Blake said. “I am very encouraged to see this funding commitment by the transportation commission.”
The 47-year-old terminal building complex closed seven years ago. Airport officials say that site will be converted to park airplanes once it is demolished.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International is a full-service airport that is operated jointly by Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. The Joseph M. McDade Terminal, which has been open since May 2006, is about 70 percent larger than the older facility and was built at a cost of $41 million.