WILKES-BARRE — Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday announced the release of $412,500 in state funds to relocate the TSA checkpoint at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
The airport is one of nine receiving state funds to make safety upgrades and expand operation opportunities with the assistance of $10 million in state investments.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport project totals $825,000.
“Maintaining and expanding opportunities in our transportation system includes the more than 400 airports in our state,” Wolf said. “Hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported by aviation in Pennsylvania, and these investments will help them operate safely, expand to meet demands, or attract more growth.”
Carl Beardsley, executive director at the airport, said he was pleased to hear of the approval of state funding for the project.
“We are extremely thankful for the support of the governor and the state for this project,” Beardsley said. “We expect to begin the project over the next month, and it should be completed by the end of the summer.”
Beardsley said the TSA checkpoint will remain on the second floor of the airport terminal building, but it will be moved to a space before the airport’s gift shop and restaurants, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Lucky’s.
“This will allow travelers to get through security and then take a break for a snack or a cup of coffee,” Beardsley said. “Right now, travelers can not take a liquid through security. This project will address that situation.”
Beardsley said travelers will appreciate the change in location of the TSA checkpoint.
According to the governor’s office, the state funds are administered by PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation through the Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, which is a capital budget grant program funded with bonds. The program complements the state Multi-modal Fund, which dedicates $6 million to aviation in this fiscal year alone. The fund was created by Act 89, a far-reaching transportation funding program that clears the way for significant investments in all transportation modes.
The other eight counties receiving funds for airports are:
• Allegheny County — Allegheny County Airport, $112,000 for a total project cost of $224,000 to rehabilitate an equipment storage building.
• Clinton County — William T. Piper Memorial Airport, $250,000 for a total project of $500,000 invested to complete improvements to existing hangars.
• Dauphin County — Harrisburg International Airport, $1.15 million for a total of $2.3 million to construct a sky bridge walkway.
• Indiana County — Indiana County/Jimmy Stewart Airport, $337,500 for a total project cost of $450,000 to reseal and remark airfield pavement.
• Lancaster County — Lancaster Airport, $500,000 for a total project cost of $1 million to construct new hangers and $502,319 of state funds for a total project cost of $1,004,638 to renovate and expand terminal.
• Lehigh County — Lehigh Valley International Airport, $6,060,681 for a total project cost of $12,121,362 to develop general aviation hangers.
• Lycoming County — Williamsport Regional Airport, $350,000 for a total project cost of $700,000 to relocate the airport fuel farm.
• Northampton County — Braden Airpark, $325,000 for a total project cost of $650,000 to construct a general aviation terminal.
For more information on aviation in Pennsylvania visit www.penndot.gov.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.