Necessary airport project on the verge of construction start

The much-needed construction of a new terminal building at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville is officially ready to start.

Contracts were awarded last week to four bidders for different sections of the project.

The contracts totaled $16.5 million, which is actually good news because it is under the budget.

Construction, which will take between 14 and 16 months, is way overdue.

Considered that the new terminal will include a passenger loading bridge at a cost of $500,000. The bridge allows passengers to disembark the airplane and walk directly to the terminal through an enclosed bridge.

This is a commonplace facet of most airports but, since its creation in 1929, the local airport has never had a loading bridge, forcing passengers to walk from the plane on the airport tarmac.

An underrated part of the project is the job security and creation that comes with $16.5 million in contracts to the four successful bidders.

And more is on the way, with the authority soon advertising for bids on the ongoing runway project to repave the runways and lower the aircraft approach minimums.

Of course, the ultimate success of the project will be determined by the outcome of the work.

A positive outcome would be a modernized airport that attracts a second airline carrier and a more flexible and larger schedule of flights in and out of the airport.

No one is certain that is going to happen. But had the project not been undertaken, there was certainty that it wouldn’t happen and the future of any airline service locally would have been in peril.