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Airport Authority discusses inspections, projects

WILLIAMSTOWN — Inspections, project updates and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed during Tuesday morning’s Wood County Airport Authority meeting.

As of Tuesday morning, the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport reported 10 cancellations due to the temporary closure of the Indianapolis Center, which is one out of 22 centers in the country that monitors air space.

The center was closed due to an employee contracting the COVID virus, Airport Manager Glen Kelly said.

“We could not get clearance out of Parkersburg. It stopped all our airline travel and all our FedEx connections for close to a week,” he said.

After help from Sen. Joe Manchin’s office, the Indianapolis Center was online nearly three days earlier than what was anticipated, Kelly said.

“I appreciate the fact they got it back, however, it just shows how fragile the system can be,” he said.

Efforts are made to ensure all employees have proper personal protective equipment.. Masks were acquired through a few vendors around the state and in Ohio.

“I feel that we have enough for at least 140 days,” Kelly said.

Employees are broken down into two-man teams for the time being and no positive cases have been reported among employees.

“If someone would come down with the virus, we should only have to quarantine one other person,” Kelly said.

The airport will be looking into infrastructure grant opportunities to set up for a few more projects and to assist in payroll.

The runway paving project is still scheduled to start June 1 and will continue through June 21, during which time the airport will be closed.

Grant writing is still in the process for the LED lighting, upgrading the electrical systems and changing the power settings and potentially obtaining a new generator.

“I’ve approved the notice for the bids. That should be out this week for the other three projects,” Kelly said.

The airport saw 252 enplanements which is down by 86 compared to March 2019. Fuel sales reached 35,447 which is still up over four thousand dollars compared to last year.

Kelly said if fuel sales continue as they have been, a grant of loan for payroll protection will not be necessary.

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