Small planes are once again zooming in and out of the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport. The airport has been closed since early April as the airfield underwent the first phase of a $27 million upgrade. It's the first significant upgrade to the facility in 35 years.
Stage one of the project focused on improvements to the runway, which stretches parallel to Route 100, just south of Morrisville. The work completed over the past four months includes:
- A fully reconstructed runway
- A new lighting system with Vertical Glide Slope Indicator
- A new runway turnaround area
- Runway end identifier lights
- New runway and taxiway lighting
- New drainage structures
- The removal of a significant number of trees at both ends of the runway
- A reconfigured aircraft parking apron and parking lot
The airport project is a public-private partnership. The runway improvements were funded through a $4 million federal Airport Improvement Project grant. Beginning July 1, the private company Stowe Aviation began leasing the airport from the state. According to a Stowe Aviation press release, the company will be investing about $20 million during the second phase of improvements, over the next 18 months. That work will include:
- A new passenger terminal/FBO to cater to arriving and departing passengers as well as their pilots, offering concierge service. The terminal will also include a café, for use by air travelers and locals alike.
- A new air charter company operating state-of-the-art aircraft to enhance direct access to and from the Stowe region to cities such as New York, Boston, Toronto and Washington, DC.
- A Customs and Immigration building to facilitate increased traffic from Montreal, Toronto and other Canadian points.
- A flight training academy featuring full-motion simulators.
- An advanced piston and turbine aircraft maintenance, upgrade, retrofit and enhancement facility.
- A professional aircraft management company.
“There are approximately 72 million people living within a 90 minute flight of the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport," Stowe Aviation CEO Russell Barr said. "Despite this fact and the billions of dollars spent on local tourism infrastructure over the years, our airport has been largely untouched. With the help of state, federal and local government we are now correcting that imbalance with a project that will bring increased business and leisure traffic to the region as well as making it easier for locals to travel.”