$12.8M Expansion Project for Newport State Airport Planned

Wed February 01, 2012 - Northeast Edition

An aerial shot of the Newport State Airport.
An aerial shot of the Newport State Airport.

COVENTRY, Vt. (AP) Construction on a new terminal building at the Newport State Airport could begin as early as this summer, a big step in a $12.8 million expansion project designed to boost the area’s economy, officials said Monday.

The plan also calls for adding 1,000 ft. (305 m) to the existing 4,000-ft. (1,219 m) runway, improving water and sewer services and the access road, and adding services from Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Agency, which would turn the facility into an international airport.

“This 9-year project has put a focus on utilizing our existing airports to mark Vermont not only a destination for vacationers, but also a viable economic force in the Northeast region,” said Guy Rouelle, aviation director of the Vermont Transportation Agency. “With new industry co-locating at the airport, freight service and charter passenger service, we feel this will have a positive economic impact to the region.”

The expansion of the airport, located in Coventry just 15 mi. south of the Canadian border, follows a business expansion of the nearby Jay Peak ski area and other growing businesses.

The $2.1 million terminal expansion is being funded with private money.

The runway extension is expected to take place in 2014, and a taxiway also will be constructed. The longer runway will make it possible for the airport to handle larger planes with more passengers.

If Customs and Border Protection makes the airport a port of entry, planes would be able to fly directly to Newport from other countries, a boost for many international businesses and tourist destinations in the area.