Breaking ground for airport runway expansion


By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com



Photo by Chris Cooper Breaking ground for the runway expansion project at the Russellville-Logan County Airport Tuesday were from left to right: Michael Pape, field rep for Congressman Ed Whitfield, Rachel McCubbin of the office of Senator Rand Paul, engineer Benson Hadley, Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton, Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick, former Logan County Circuit Judge Bill Fuqua and Russellville-Logan County Airport Chairman Steve Dilliha.


Photo by Chris Cooper Russellville-Logan County Airport Board Chairman Steve Dilliha welcomes all who attended the groundbreaking Tuesday.


A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Russellville-Logan County Airport Tuesday afternoon for a runway extension project that will take the length of the runway from 4000 to 4500 feet. This will greatly affect Logan County’s economic development possibilities by allowing for larger aircraft to take off and land.

Several attended the event, which was facilitated by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce. Those in attendance included industry leaders, bank presidents, elected officials, local attorneys, a former judge, a school superintendent, Logan’s director of libraries, city council members, airport board members, and a field rep for a congressman and senator.

Chamber president Shane Hayes and airport board chairman Steve Dilliha welcomed all who came out to commemorate the latest project at the airport. Hayes said he used to visit the airport when he was a boy, and said he is excited to see it has grown over the years.

“The runway extension will open up great economic opportunities for Logan County,” said Hayes. “The Chamber of Commerce is very proud to help facilitate today’s groundbreaking. Our slogan at the Chamber is we want to make Logan County and Russellville a better place to live and work. You can’t get any better than expanding the community’s airport.”

The Russellville-Logan County Airport Board received a federal grant for $2,050,000 to expand the runway. The project also received financial support from the Logan County Fiscal Court, the City of Russellville and the State of Kentucky. All believe this project to be a progressive step towards the economic future of this area.

Dilliha noted the runway extension project is the biggest taken on by the airport board since the 1970s.

“I’ve always heard that when businesses come to town they don’t come on a bus, they come on a plane, and we want them to come to Logan County,” ” said Dilliha, adding the airport is one piece of the economic development puzzle.

Dilliha went on to say there are currently 18,000 corporate aircraft with 10,000 more expected within a year. “We are one step closer to attracting those businesses here in Logan County,” said Dilliha.

Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton spoke Tuesday thanking the airport board past, present and future for having the vision to bring the airport to where it is and where it will go.

“It is a privilege to partner with the airport board, the county, the state and the federal government on this project,” said Stratton. “What is good for Russellville is good for Logan County, and what is good for Logan County is good for Russellville, Adairville, Auburn, Chandlers, Lewisburg and Olmstead. We all work together to do what is best for our community.”

Michael Pape, field representative for Congressman Ed Whitfield said, the Russellville-Logan County Airport was a “class act airport.” He added the airport has come along way and is a getaway and portal to the future of economic development.

“The airport is so valuable to Logan County and other communities,” said Pape. “Congressman Whitfield was very happy to support the grant. We are vested in this community.”

The airport board has been talking about the runway extension project for the past four years. This is something that is very important for the community as a whole. With the current 4000 foot runway, larger company jets have not been able to land in Logan County. This has kept certain business from this area. Once the runway is lengthened, these companies will have the opportunity to fly directly into Logan County, which will open many doors.

This recent project is one of the airports major improvements. The board built a $760,000 terminal in 2010 to be used by pilots and those who fly into the airport. The project was paid for by state and federal dollars. There have been $2.3 million in capital improvements to the airport since 2002, with less than $30,000 coming from local taxes.

Photo by Chris Cooper Breaking ground for the runway expansion project at the Russellville-Logan County Airport Tuesday were from left to right: Michael Pape, field rep for Congressman Ed Whitfield, Rachel McCubbin of the office of Senator Rand Paul, engineer Benson Hadley, Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton, Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick, former Logan County Circuit Judge Bill Fuqua and Russellville-Logan County Airport Chairman Steve Dilliha.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Airport1.jpgPhoto by Chris Cooper Breaking ground for the runway expansion project at the Russellville-Logan County Airport Tuesday were from left to right: Michael Pape, field rep for Congressman Ed Whitfield, Rachel McCubbin of the office of Senator Rand Paul, engineer Benson Hadley, Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton, Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick, former Logan County Circuit Judge Bill Fuqua and Russellville-Logan County Airport Chairman Steve Dilliha.

Photo by Chris Cooper Russellville-Logan County Airport Board Chairman Steve Dilliha welcomes all who attended the groundbreaking Tuesday.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Airport2.jpgPhoto by Chris Cooper Russellville-Logan County Airport Board Chairman Steve Dilliha welcomes all who attended the groundbreaking Tuesday.

By Chris Cooper

ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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