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Congressman Higgins Announces $3.5 Million for Dunkirk Airport

Apr 7, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced $3.5 million in new federal funding for the airport authorized through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program (FAA AIP). 

“I toured the Dunkirk Airport last summer and learned first hand the needs and plans for expansion,” said Congressman Higgins.  “This significant federal investment will create the infrastructure needed to improve operations and increase capacity while creating local construction jobs.” 

The Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport has completed a Runway Length Analysis Report, and is in the process of finalizing an environmental assessment for the construction of a 1,000 foot runway and taxiway extension to Runway 24 to accommodate the business jet aircraft that are based at and fly regularly into the airport. 

"The improvements at the Dunkirk Airport are a reflection on the commitment that Congressman Higgins and the federal delegation has to Chautauqua County,” said Chautauqua County Legislature Chairman Keith Ahlstrom.  “They will greatly enhance the airport for the local business concerns that utilize it."

“This will allow us to increase usability of the airport for our customer base which includes businesses and private owners across Chautauqua and southern Erie Counties,” said Dunkirk Aviation President Lou Nalbone, whose family has overseen operations at the airport for over four decades.  “Expansion of our runway is a great step forward in providing enhanced operations and safety at the airport.”

“The Dunkirk Airport facility has the potential to be a key piece of regional infrastructure as we continue to seek ways to improve and grow the local economy.  Another key to continued economic growth in this region is the leadership and vision of Congressman Higgins and our entire congressional delegation who I commend for their foresight in obtaining this vitally important funding,” said City of Dunkirk Mayor Richard L. Frey.

The federal grant will be used to reconstruct the existing Runway 24 including the installation of high intensity runway lights which is a big improvement from a utility and safety standpoint.  The environmental assessment is scheduled to be completed May 2009.

"We are thankful to the congressman for providing funding for this project. The runway extension will improve safety and it will be a key for the growth of the Dunkirk airport," added Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities Director George Spanos.

Chautauqua County operates the airport in conjunction with on-site fixed base operator Dunkirk Aviation.  Over 30 aircraft are currently based on the field, with total operations exceeding 22,000/year.