Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced the Rutland Southern-Vermont Regional Airport in North Clarendon, Vermont, received a $8,127,261 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to make safety improvements to the airport.
In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "As the only Vermont airport with commercial air service other than Burlington, the Rutland airport is a vital link for transportation and commerce in the greater Rutland region. These upgrades will improve both the safety and the viability of the airport for the long term. This type of infrastructure investment is critical to growing our economy, and we look forward to seeing these improvements completed."
The grant, awarded as part of the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program, will be to extend the runway an additional 300 feet which will provide a larger margin of safety and allow departing aircraft to take on more fuel before takeoff. The grant will also be used to construct an FAA-compliant runway safety area and a graded area in the event that an aircraft overruns the runway. These additions will greatly enhance runway safety for planes landing and taking off from the airport.
Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) said, "Our Congressional Delegation continues to play a vital role in improving the safety and commercial viability of our state airports and this particular grant is very important to the ever-increasing number of travelers who use the Rutland-Southern Vermont facility"
In May, Leahy, Sanders and Welch wrote to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging him to support the project. The grant will be disbursed through the Vermont Agency of Transportation.