PENN TWP – The Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport is proud to announce it has been awarded a $630,000 grant from the state Department of Community Economic Development Multimodal Transportation Fund.
The airport, formerly known as the Butler County Airport, will use this funding allocation toward its $22-million project to extend its sole runway 700 feet from 4,801 to 5,501 feet.
The longer runway, to be added to the west of the existing runway, will enhance safety margins for existing airport users and permit pilots to plan longer flights. This proposed runway extension is not intended to generate commercial air service at the airport.
“We are excited about the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport’s potential and having it as an integral partner of the Butler County Comprehensive Plan and contributor toward the economic development of Butler County and the Western Pennsylvania Region,” said Butler County Commissioner Kim Geyer, who is a member of the Airport Authority. “The Authority has a broad range of projects we are working on through short and long-term planning as well as addressing up to date facilities which will contribute toward the economic vitality and health of the region over the next 20 to 30 years. The airport expansion project is just one of many projects.”
Specifically, this grant will help pay for a preliminary engineering design expected to cost $900,000 to be started this summer.
The airport hopes to complete the runway extension project within the next five years. When the conceptual drawings are complete, the airport will invite the community to see them at an open house.
“This extension will further enhance the economic benefit the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport provides to Butler County,” said airport manager Ike Kelly.
The Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport, opened in 1929, is a general aviation reliever airport to Pittsburgh International Airport. It employs three full-time people and an additional 79 people are employed by tenants on the field, which include Allegheny Health Network’s LifeFlight 4 team, AirQuest Aviation, Serventi’s Ristorante and High Flight Academy.
The field is home to 138 tenant aircraft, including 9 jets. Anticipated arrival of the tenth jet later this year formalizes the airport’s latest classification upgrade from “county” to “regional” airport.
In addition to easy access and self-serve fuel pumps, the airport has “precision landing approach” equipment to guide pilots during poor weather.