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Local Airport Seeking Input for Master Plan

A master plan is underway to bring a boost to the economy in Centre County.
STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - A master plan is underway to bring a boost to the economy in Centre County.

University Park Airport officials will host an open house Wednesday to discuss the future of the airport, including a study to go green.

The airport is one of 10 picked by the Federal Aviation Administration to create this type of master plan.

"No one has the crystal ball, so 10 years ago, it was a whole different picture than it is today," Centre County Airport Authority Director Jim Meyer said.

Meyer said the past several years at University Park Airport have been a bit like playing catch up.

"The economy crashed, the airlines crashed," Meyer said. "Five years later, we went backward instead of this massive growth."

They're hoping it's a trend they'll reverse and said they're already making progress.

"This year, we started Chicago service and we expect those numbers to exceed our records in 2007," Meyers said.

Bryan Rodgers said that's just the beginning.

"Delta will start Atlanta service on June 7 this year, so we're starting to see the economy improving and as a result, the airlines are coming in and providing service," he said.

That's not all. Rodgers said part of the plan includes sustainability and going green.

"We're going to look at making better use of technology," he said. "For instance, we have a project where we're replacing our taxi way edge lights and making them LED."

Folks from across the county are invited to give their input. Ronda Vaughn, from Curwensville, wants to see more space to accommodate a growing crowd.

"We definitely could use a boost," she said. "I know they need a bigger parking lot."

The meeting starts at 5:30 Wednesday night in the General Aviation Terminal building at the University Park Airport. The meeting will last until 7:30 PM.
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