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CAA: Airport News, "Feasibility of Pennsylvania airport examined"


 
Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Feasibility of airport examined
Government will pay 90 percent of cost for analysis of a cargo facility's
worth.
By BOB LAYLO
Of The Morning Call


The federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost of a study of the
feasibility of a cargo airport near the borders of Carbon, Luzerne and
Schuylkill counties.

The $270,000 for the study was included in legislation that funds the
Federal Aviation Administration for the next three years, U.S. Reps. Paul
Kanjorski and Timothy Holden report.

"This proposal holds great potential for bringing quality jobs to Luzerne,
Carbon and Schuylkill counties," Kanjorski, D-11th District, said. "I look
forward to the immediate initiation of the study so we can learn whether a
tri-county airport is feasible."

Holden, D-6th District, said the study will take at least six to eight
months. If it shows the airport is practical, an environmental impact study
and public comment period will follow.

"It's a long, drawn-out process," Holden said.

Holden said he supports the airport, if studies show it is needed.

"If it is feasible and it is possible to do it, it would be a great economic
shot in the arm," said Holden, whose district includes all of Schuylkill
County.

The airport would handle cargo heading to and from the East Coast. It would
include an aircraft maintenance center. In bad weather, it would be an
alternative landing location for East Coast airports.

Former Hazleton Mayor Michael Marsicano, a Continental Airlines pilot,
suggested the project several years ago. Last year, Kanjorski and Holden
decided to pursue it.

After Kanjorski and Holden got on board, Luzerne County commissioners agreed
to pay the local share, about $30,000, for the study.

Holden, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,
said an FAA-approved consultant will do the study. He said the next step is
for Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill counties to form an authority.

Commissioners from Carbon and Schuylkill counties said they must be
contacted about the next steps.

"I have yet to hear anything from those people," Carbon Commissioner Tom
Gerhard said.

Schuylkill Commissioner Forrest Shadle said he has not been contacted about
forming an authority.

Plans call for two runways, one 13,000 feet long and the other 7,000.

The runways would be in East Union Township in Schuylkill and Hazle Township
in Luzerne, just west of Hazleton off Interstate 81.

The airport would be about two miles from McAdoo in Schuylkill. It would be
three miles from Tresckow, four from Beaver Meadows and nine from Weatherly,
all in Carbon. Airplanes approaching the airport would pass over those
communities.

   Post your opinion on this story in the CAA Discussion Forum
http://www.californiaaviation.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?conf=DCConfID8

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