Cabinet for Economic Development
Gov. Beshear Announces Plans to Expand At Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport
Strong growth in passenger service leads to expansion, new jobs
OWENSBORO, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear today joined community and airport leaders to announce a plan to expand the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport (OWB) terminal.
The expansion will create additional flights while significantly increasing the size of the waiting area, baggage handling and pick-up areas. The project will add three full-time and several part-time positions.
“The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport continues to experience significant growth, which is good for both economic development and tourism,” Gov. Beshear said. “The Commonwealth is proud to partner with community and airport officials to make further enhancements that will not only improve the terminal, but will also create jobs for Kentuckians.”
Since the time of the airport’s 1993 Master Plan Update, more than $26 million in federal, state and local funds have been invested in improving OWB’s airfield infrastructure. Several runways have been extended, and the airport now boasts the third longest runway in Kentucky.
The improved airfield was critical to the airport’s attraction of Allegiant Airlines in February 2009, which offers flights to and from Orlando, Fla. Allegiant recently announced a new passenger service from OWB to Las Vegas beginning in October.
“The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport is becoming the new front door for our region,” said Ray Asmar, chairman of the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport Board of Directors. “This terminal expansion will be noticed by visitors arriving and departing Owensboro/Daviess Co. and as such, will be a direct reflection on the immediate region. A mile of highway will take you a mile, but, a mile of runway will take you anywhere!”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved the airport for a no-interest loan to help facilitate the improvements, which will have a positive impact on economic development. The loan will be repaid through entitlement proceeds received from the Federal Aviation Administration.
In addition, the Department for Local Government awarded $500,000 in multi-county coal severance funds to Daviess and Ohio counties in effort to help complete the terminal expansion and improvement project at OWB. Multi-County Local Government Economic Development Funds (LGEDF)/Coal Severance Funds are a portion of coal severance taxes set aside to fund projects benefiting two or more coal-producing counties.
“This is great news for the residents and businesses of the Owensboro area,” said Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. “This will open new economic opportunities for the area and increase our region’s profile and identity to a wider range of consumers.”
“This airport expansion could not have come at a better time as the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport has just been awarded an additional jet service route,” said Rep. Tommy Tompson, of Owensboro. “The expansion will allow our airport to better serve the needs of its customers and is a great investment. I want to thank Gov. Beshear for his continued support of our community and for his leadership, and I want to thank our local leaders for moving this project from the drawing board to reality.”
“This expansion at the airport is great news and will go a long way in helping to draw even more passengers, which in turn should put us in line to potentially add even more destinations down the road,” said Rep. Jim Glenn, of Owensboro. “I really appreciate the state’s help with this, and the dedication shown by airport officials and local leaders alike. I can’t wait to see what the terminal looks like once it’s finished.”
“We appreciate very much Gov. Beshear's continued commitment to the economic development of our community,” said Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne. “Great things are happening at our airport and we are excited about its future."
“This is a wonderful example of two counties working together. I want to thank Judge Johnston and Ohio County for their willingness to partner with Davies County in expanding this important economic development tool for our region,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly.
For more information on the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport, visit www.owb.net.
New and existing companies have announced the creation of more than 1,300 new jobs, as well as the retention of nearly 300 existing Kentucky jobs in Owensboro during Gov. Beshear’s administration. These economic development projects represent a more than $174 million capital investment in the Commonwealth.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.
A detailed community profile for Owensboro (Daviess County) can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=044.
Follow Governor Beshear on Twitter @Govstevebeshear, read the Governor’s personal notes on his blog at http://blog.governor.ky.gov/, and view the Governor's weekly YouTube commentary at http://www.youtube.com/governorbeshear.