Thursday, December 14, 2017

Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (KMRB) gets $30K grant for strategic business study



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport has been awarded a $30,000 grant to help the airfield in Berkeley County, W.Va., prepare a strategic business vision.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture rural business development grant, which will be matched with airport funds, was formally announced Thursday by the Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council on behalf of the airport's governing board.

“With this grant, long the dream of former Chairman Rick Wachtel, we will be able to fund a strategic business study,” airport authority Chairman Jim Klein said in a news release. “We believe this study will play an integral role and set the course for action both now and in the future.”

The business plan will include recommended strategies for optimizing the advantages of the airport location, property configuration and regional attractiveness.

The airport property south of Martinsburg includes 1,005 acres off Exit 8 of Interstate 81. The airport, which has an 8,815-foot runway, currently has four commercial buildings for sale and/or rent, ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 square feet.

The runway serves the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard, which is based at Shepherd Field, and several small businesses, but there are no contracts with air carriers or air-taxi operators.

The request for funding was supported by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

“This funding will help the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, along with Region 9 Planning and Development Council, position Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport to capture new opportunities that will benefit the entire state,” she said in the release.

The goal of the grant is to formulate a study to guide decisions for the next five years, Klein said.

Airport Manager Neil Doran said the document "will be no mere plan to place on a shelf and forget about — this will be a living document charting out a specific path of guiding steps leading to revenue growth for the airport and job creation for our local community."

“The airport continues to be one of the most important assets in our region," Bill Clark, the planning and development council's executive director, said in the release.

The airport authority earlier this week awarded a $3,700 video-production-services contract to Martinsburg-based Hornby Publishing to help market and promote the airport.

Story and photo ➤  https://www.heraldmailmedia.com

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