Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Airport expansion project helping to fuel local economy

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Airport expansion project helping to fuel local economy
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A $600,000 expansion project at the Bradford County Airport is now up and running. As YNN’s Crystal Cranmore reports, it's boosting more than just business at the airport.

TOWANDA, PA -- It’s a small airport in rural Bradford county, but officials say with airport traffic increasing over the years, so is the demand for a place to store corporate and private aircraft.

Last July, the Bradford County airport started construction on a new hangar capable of storing eight, corporate sized planes. They recently received $200,000 in state funding to help cover the cost.

“The airport is getting bigger, so there was more demand for aircraft to come here. The natural gas industry aided in the demand,” said airport manager Heather Blokzyl.

Blokzyl says the hangar lets them offer some convenient options - all of which help the airport thrive.

“If they need to purchase fuel, we offer fuel. We offer various pilot supplies. The hangar rent itself is an economic boost to the airport,” said Blokzyl.

The airport also has an active flight school where pilots can get additional training. The airport expansion comes as good news to local businesses.

“It benefits this area if people can fly in,” said Gregg Murrelle, General Manager of the Comfort Inn in Towanda.

He says he has seen an increase in the number of clientele since the expansion project was complete in December.

“If someone is flying in on commuter plane for a day’s business and fly out, that’s very beneficial, especially with the gas industry, which has been really strong around here,” said Murrelle.

Business owners like Murrelle are hopeful the expansion project will continue to fuel the economy.

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