WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport reopened a runway Wednesday that had been closed for the last 50 years.
Airport officials were very excited to reopen this runway, it’ll allow a lot more traffic at an airport that’s actually been very busy this year. Before the ribbon cutting, Barnes officials held a socially distanced news conference to unveil runway 15-33.
Mayor Don Humason and State Representative John Velis were among the guest speakers for the event. The runway was last reconstructed in 1970 so after 50 years, it finally got the funding necessary for improvements.
“It’s an important infrastructure. Aircraft take-off and land into the wind. Today the wind is blowing right down the runway so it’ll be perfect. We are very excited to get this runway back.”Chris Willenborg, Airport Manager
Willenborg said the FAA funded 90 percent of the $7,658,058 project, with the rest being covered by MassDOT and the City of Westfield.
- FAA – $6,773,052
- MassDOT $486,651
- Airport – $398,355
The runway will be used by most of the aircraft that fly into and out of Barnes, with the exception being F-15s, since those require a longer runway.
This isn’t the main runway at Barnes, but they’ll use it a lot more during storms, or when the winds blow northwest.