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For Immediate Release:

Runway Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Hagerstown Regional Airport Celebrates Completion of the Airport’s Main Runway Project
(Runway 9-27 Improvement Program)

Event Held before a Crowd of 300 on Friday, November 30, 2007 at the Passenger Terminal Building, Hagerstown Regional Airport


Carolyn Motz - Airport Director

(HAGERSTOWN, MD — November 30, 2007) Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR) celebrated the completion of its Runway Improvement Program with A Ribbon Cutting on Friday, November 30. The construction has provided HGR with a 7,000-foot runway featuring full safety areas. The work began in April of 2004. The featured guest speaker was U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Vice Admiral Thomas Barrett. The Ft. George G. Meade Color Guard posted the ceremony flags. John Barr, President of the County Commissioners of Washington County opened the program.

Listen to the Commissioners' Comment December 2007 podcast by Norman Bassett. From e-George - a presentation of Washington County, Maryland e-Government Blog and Podcast.

The Ribbon was cut on the runway by a Gulfstream II jet piloted by David Rider of Rider Jet Center and Steve Pearl of Falcon Air. On-lookers cheered and waved American flags as the jet christened the runway.

Special guest speakers included U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin?s Representative Robin Summerfield, Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers, Jr., Former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr., Maryland Senator Donald Munson, and Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary John Porcari.

Speaking on behalf of the airport and community were Economic Development Commission Vice Chairman Tim Henry, Airport Advisory Committee Chair Wayne Alter, Bill Hetzer, CEO, C. William Hetzer, Inc. and Hal Lucas, Dir., IAS Program Aircraft Modifications at Sierra Nevada Corp. Inc.

The Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon was Tom Riford, CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Carolyn Motz, Airport Director provided closing remarks and introduced the airport staff, and project engineers from Airport Design Consultants, Inc. and URS Corporation.

Two Fairchild A-10 C’s were flown to the celebration by the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard and an H-53 helicopter was flown in by Marine Squadron One from Quantico, Virginia. Other displays were provided by The Hagerstown Aviation Museum, Rider Jet Center and Sierra Nevada Corporation. Rides in a Cessna Caravan were provided by Rider Jet Center and Falcon Air .

The ceremony concluded with an unveiling of a painting of “Air Force One” flying over the runway extension. Local artist Landis Brent Whitsel created the artwork for the occasion. Prints were signed by the artist and given as souvenirs to each attendee.

Before the construction, Runway 9-27 had non-standard, Runway Safety Areas (RSA) at each end and insufficient length to meet the projected air carrier fleet mix. The Runway 9-27 Improvement Program was planned and scheduled as four separate construction packages. These packages were set up so that the ultimate goal of a 7,000-foot long Runway with standard RSA and Category I Instrument Landing System on each end would be complete by late 2007. The Runway Improvement Program at Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR) was initiated with an Environmental Assessment, which was placed under grant in Fiscal Year 2000.

Runway Safety Area History: On October 1, 1999, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established a Runway Safety Area Program to “provide a measure of safety in the event of an aircraft’s excursion from the runway.” All federally obligated airports and all Runway Safety Areas (RSAs) at airports certificated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 were to conform to the standards in FAA Advisory Circular 150/5300-13, following a determination by the Regional Airports Division Manager. On September 27, 2000, the RSA Determination for Hagerstown found that the dimensions of the RSA determined to be practicable were 500 feet by 1000 feet at each end of Runway 09-27. The Determination also stated “reducing the runway length to achieve the RSA is not feasible.” At the time, the RSAs at Hagerstown were 500 feet by 500 feet on each end.

The $61.8M Runway Improvement Program is on schedule and on budget with a substantial Completion date of December 31, 2007. Contractors were C. William Hetzer, Inc., Ahern Construction, New Enterprise Stone and Lime and L.W. Wolfe, Inc. Grant money from Federal and State Funds totaled over $59.1M. The Federal Funds are from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. Revenue for the Trust Fund includes passenger ticket tax, passenger flight segment, waybill domestic freight and mail, fuel tax, international departure/international arrival tax, and frequent flyer tax.

The construction called for the placing of nearly 2-Million cubic yards of fill, which was moved from the County?s 40-West Landfill. This cooperation between County Departments ultimately saved the County millions in soil removal for the landfill’s cell creation projects.

The new 7,000-foot length not only provides full safety areas, but also allows aircraft to span longer distances from Hagerstown because payloads can be maximized in many aircraft that use the airport.

Since the program began in 2000, individual corporations have invested over $15M in new and improved airport facilities. Over 350 new jobs have been created at the airfield. In addition, the runway construction itself poured tens of millions into local communities for wages, equipment and materials.

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