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Cong. McGovern, Massport Break Ground for CAT III at Worcester Regional Airport

Friday, October 16, 2015

WORCESTER -- Massport officials, alongside Congressman McGovern, community and business representatives, celebrated the official groundbreaking for the CAT III Instrument Landing System at Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) today. This upgrade, along with upgrading the approach lights, is primarily a safety measure to make a safe airport even safer, but it is also expected to improve reliability of commercial service.

The new CAT III equipment and infrastructure upgrades will allow for aircraft to land on Runway 11 under virtually all weather conditions when the visibility conditions are below the current ceiling height of 200 feet and less than 1,800-foot runway visibility. Currently, pilots must divert to other airports for landings when the conditions are below those visibility requirements.

“Supporting strong investments in Worcester Airport has been a top priority for me and I am pleased to see the difference federal dollars are making,” Congressman McGovern said. “With this CAT III equipment, Worcester Airport will soon be able to operate in virtually all weather conditions. This is a big step forward that will help to expand travel options for local families and businesses and help Worcester Airport to attract more carriers. I was proud to work with Massport and local leaders to move this project forward and know that Worcester Airport will be a strong economic engine for our region as it continues to grow.”

The existing conditions at ORH, constructed in 1944 on top of two hills and spanning the Lynde Brook valley, make the airport more prone to fog and poor visibility. Upgrading the navigation system from a CAT I to a Category III instrument landing system at the airport will make the safe facility even safer. The CAT III system will be operated and maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Safety and security are the top priorities for Massport and this investment is just another example of our commitment to the residents of Central Massachusetts,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “We have worked closely with Congressman McGovern, Worcester city government, the Town of Leicester and the business community on this project. Congressman McGovern was also helpful in securing funds for the renovated fire station.’’

This past June, Massport celebrated the newly renovated Airport Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) station at ORH. Upgrades to the ARFF program at ORH include:

  • Renovated the existing Old Tower Building into an ARFF Station that will meet current FAA ARFF Program Guidelines;
  • Bigger bays better to accommodate larger and more modern safety equipment;
  •  Two (2) 3,000 gallon ARFF vehicles;
  • Office space for essential airport safety and security functions, staff, offices and equipment;
  • New interior layout designed to meet FAA standards for ARFF structures;
  • New doors and windows to improve energy efficiency within the building


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