January 18, 2013

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently unveiled a 10-year plan that includes $125 million for maintenance and safety improvements at community airports in the Bay State over the next decade, investments that the agency said “will help support jobs in the aviation industry.”

The report, titled “The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan,” notes that MassDOT “is fostering the development of our general aviation airport network, including the groundbreaking for a new Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation hangar at Westfield-Barnes Airport… and the implementation of a statewide runway safety marking project.”

Review the report. (4KB, PDF)

The Gulfstream expansion, which involves expenditure of more than $20 million to build a 125,000-square-foot maintenance facility, is to be completed in the second quarter of this year. The project is expected to result in 100 additional jobs at Gulfstream.

Commenting on the report, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said, “If we are serious about improving our transportation system for a generation, then we have to be willing to make the necessary investments. We must invest in transportation, not for the sake of transportation itself, but for the jobs and economic opportunity it creates.

“What’s plain as day is that we have to make choices,” the governor continued. “We can choose to invest in…a growth strategy that has been proven time and again to work. Or we can choose to do nothing. I choose growth.”

“Transportation is the enabling network of our economy, creating and supporting jobs in all regions of the Commonwealth,” added Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray.

The report stated, “National studies and local reports have consistently shown that a well-funded transportation system produces tangible and meaningful economic benefits. According to the American Public Transportation Association, every dollar invested in transportation produces four dollars in economic return. The Massachusetts Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study, a recent analysis by the MassDOT Aeronautics Division, estimates that the 39 airports of the commonwealth, including Logan International Airport, generate $11.9 billion in total annual economic activity and $4.9 billion in total annual payroll from the 124,369 jobs that can be traced to the aviation industry.”

Review the full MassDOT economic impact study. (4MB, PDF)

NBAA’s Northeast Regional Representative Dean Saucier welcomed Massachusetts’s continued commitment to maintain GA infrastructure.

“Gov. Patrick understands that ‘No Plane No Gain’ is not just a slogan, but a fact. By investing in general aviation airports, business aviation and associated businesses in Massachusetts will continue to prosper. The state owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator Christopher Willenborg, Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey and Gov. Patrick.”