WORCESTER – Massport officials joined local, state and federal leaders today to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station at Worcester Regional Airport (ORH). The project, partially funded with $3 million from the FAA and $2.5 million from Massport, is another safety enhancement made since Massport took ownership of the airport in 2010.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to the safety of the residents of the Commonwealth,’’ said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Worcester Regional Airport is the gateway to the heart of the Commonwealth and we appreciate this effort to make a safe facility even safer.’’
“Improving and strengthening infrastructure at the Worcester Regional Airport has been a top priority for me and I am pleased we were able to secure the funding that made this renovation possible,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “In recent years, we have seen a revitalized airport that has already pumped roughly $350 million into our economy and made it easier for our community to travel. I look forward to continuing to work with Massport, local officials and my federal colleagues to support Worcester Regional Airport’s continued growth and success.”
“Safety and security are Massport’s top priority and these upgrades allow our firefighters to provide a greater level of service to ORH customers and carriers,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “We will continue to invest in the airport because it is an economic engine for Central Massachusetts and provides convenient access to the national air system for the people in this region.”
Upgrades to the facility include:
Renovated the existing Old Tower Building into an ARFF Station that will meet current FAA ARFF Program Guidelines;
Provided much needed repairs to the building envelope and replacement of deteriorated building systems;
A full remediation of the building to remove all hazardous materials and demolish the obsolete Control Tower to make way for a new roof for the entire building;
Bigger bays better accommodate larger and more modern safety equipment including 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;
Massport estimates Worcester Regional Airport will generate $369 million of economic activity over the next 10 years. Massport commissioned Frasca & Associates, L.L.C. in 2013 to assess the ten year economic impacts anticipated from new airline service by JetBlue Airways and Massport’s current and future investments in the airport. The study examined the direct and induced aviation-related economic impacts these activities will have to the Central Massachusetts regional economy.
Massport continues to move forward with the installation of a Category III instrument landing system at the airport to make a safe facility even safer. The so-called CAT III system will be purchased and installed by Massport and operated and maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration; it allows for landings in near zero visibility weather conditions. The system, which will cost some $30 million, will be installed over the next few years.
You can find Worcester Regional Airport on Twitter at
www.twitter.com/flyworcester and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorcesterRegionalAirport.