BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice has announced his support for a $20 million funding package for the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport.
Justice said during an appearance in Bridgeport Tuesday afternoon $10 million would come in the form of a grant from the state Infrastructure Jobs Development Council and he’ll request the other $10 million in the form of a loan from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority.
Airport officials are planning three phases of work including building a new terminal off of Route 279, creating 50 additional acres of airport space with direct taxiway access to the airport’s 7,800 foot runway and the final development of land not accessible to the runway for additional commercial and industrial use.
Justice praised those associated with the airport with what is already happening at the facility but he said they need room to grow.
“I hate to say it but your beautiful terminal isn’t beautiful,” Justice said. “If you want to be a gateway you can’t have your beautiful terminal that you have today.”
Justice said he’s looking forward to the jobs the project will create.
“It is unbelievable the job opportunities that this will create. This will bring thousands and thousands and thousands more to an area that is already flourishing like crazy but you are just now opened up to go,” Justice said.
— Governor Jim Justice (@WVGovernor) August 6, 2019
NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock said reliable passenger service is in place and expanding the aerospace sector will grow the local economy.
“Throw in the aerospace side and that’s another thing that has a positive effect on community because it’s putting our people to work, people having careers in multiple generations.” Rock said. “We’re looking to compete with the broader national and even globally. We believe we have a workforce that’s second to none, we gotta start believing in ourselves.”
Currently, the airport has a $1.1 billion impact on the local economy.
WAJR Radio’s Mike Nolting contributed to this story.