Morgantown Asst. City Manager on airport project opposition: “I guess they just want us to go away.”

MORGANTOWN, W.Va — Morgantown’s Assistant City Manager says there is only one reason he can come up with behind the Benedum Airport Authority’s decision to oppose the project to extend the runway at Morgantown Municipal Airport.

“I guess they just want us to go way, because that’s all I can see,” Kelly said matter-of-factly Monday on Morgantown A.M.

The Benedum Airport Authority, which serves as the board of directors for the North Central West Virginia Airport, voted last week to write a letter to state officials opposing Morgantown Municipal Airport’s runway expansion project. The authority members stated extending the runway was a waste of resources, pointing out the 8,000-foot runway at North Central Regional Airport in Harrison County. They also cited a meeting in which they proposed Morgantown Municipal Airport focusing on corporate flights.

“That’s what we discussed. 6,200-feet supports Gulfstream 4 class, which are major business aircraft,” explained Kelly.

Kelly pointed out that Mylan chose to discontinue hangaring its jets at the airport because it could not support the global aircraft the corporation was flying. He insists the $31 million project to extend the runway 1,001-feet will allow the airport to keep its existing businesses and attract new ones. Kelly says the opposition could throw a wrench in the project.

“I think that’s what they intended to do. I do believe their business plan is if we go away they’ll get all the business but unfortunately the business will go to Pittsburgh just like Mylan Pharmaceuticals did.”