The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 14, 2013

Johnstown airport to receive state grant for hangar repairs

Randy Griffith
rgriffith@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown’s airport is getting some state help with much-needed repairs to its aging hangars.

A $250,000 state Transportation Assistance Program grant to John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport was among $10 million announced on Thursday by Gov. Tom Corbett.

The county-owned airport will have to come up with another $250,000 in matching funds to accept all of the money, said James Loncella, chairman of the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority.

The authority receives income from the hangars through rental payments from private pilots and businesses that operate from the airport.

Having pilots and businesses based at the Johnstown airfield brings additional benefits through fuel sales and economic development, Loncella said.

“It is more than the hangar rent,” he said.

“If someone wants to move an aircraft for a business into the airport and we didn’t have a hangar for them, that would really be a bummer. You lose opportunities.”

When the grant application process started a few years ago, most of the hangars were rented. The grant was eyed to build new hangars.

About the same time, the authority authorized a review of its existing leases and instituted a policy limiting hangar rentals to aviation purposes. Several were being used as large storage units.

The changes, including some rent increases, cleared out a few hangars, so the authority will probably address the needed repairs, Loncella said.

“We have a number of hangars that have really old roofs and some with really old doors,” Loncella said.

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