Anyone who has driven past the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport on Route 100 over the last couple of months would be excused for wondering what’s been going on there. The airport, which has been closed to air traffic since April 4th of this year, has been a hive of heavy construction activity as the airfield underwent stage one of a $27 million infrastructure project that represents the facility’s first significant upgrade in 35 years.
With the support of VTrans (The Vermont Agency of Transportation) a State and private partnership between Stowe Aviation, and the Federal Government has seen a $4 million federal Airport Improvement Project grant, quite literally, paving the way to an altogether new airport.
These funds have financed Stage 1 of a project that was completed on Aug 1st. Among other improvements stage one includes:
A totally reconstructed runway
A new lighting system with Vertical Glide Slope Indicator
A new runway turnaround area
Runway end identifier lights
All new runway and taxiway lighting
All new drainage structures
The removal of tree obstructions at both ends of the runway
A reconfigured aircraft parking apron and parking lot
Stowe Aviation LLC is led by founder and CEO Russell Barr, managing partner at the Stowe law firm of Barr Lajoie Goldfine and President/Chief Operating Officer Tom Anderson, previously of VTrans.
As of July 1st Stowe Aviation has assumed the airport lease from the State and will be aggressively moving forward with Stage 2 of the project, which will be funded by approximately $20 million of private investment. This should be completed within 18 months, and includes:
A brand new passenger terminal/FBO to cater to arriving and departing passengers as well as their pilots, offering concierge service befitting the best of Vermont hospitality.
A new air charter company operating state-of-the-art aircraft will dramatically enhance direct access to and from the Stowe region to cities such as New York, Boston, Toronto and Washington, DC.
A planned Customs and Immigration building will facilitate increased traffic from Montreal, Toronto and other Canadian points.
A flight training academy featuring full-motion simulators that will attract students and pilots from all over the world as well as being a valuable local resource.
An advanced piston and turbine aircraft maintenance, upgrade, retrofit and enhancement facility.
A professional aircraft management company
An attractive café for use by air travelers and locals alike will be a part of the new terminal – great for airplane spotters.
Stowe Aviation CEO Russell Barr added, “There are approximately 72 million people living within a 90 minute flight of the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport (KVML). 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. The project’s other new business units will also result in significant direct and indirect job creation in the Stowe mountain region. The new KMVL will certainly put the region back on the aviation map.”
Mr. Barr went on to say that the project would not have been possible without the outstanding support of Governor Peter Schumlin, Secretary of Transportation Brian Searles, Lawrence Miller and Brent Raymond from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Guy Rouelle, Jim Thompson, Scott Fortney, Jason Owen and a host of others too numerous to mention in State and local government.