Gov. Beshear, Local Leaders Tout Barkley Regional Airport Potential At Terminal Ceremony
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and local and state officials on Friday touted the potential for Barkley Regional Airport’s new terminal at a groundbreaking ceremony for the terminal in Paducah.
Beshear, who attended virtually, said the groundbreaking was a milestone for community support and government assistance, and he looks forward to the economic benefits the terminal may bring.
“Today’s event is the perfect bookend to my last visit announcing a $5 million state commitment to help this project get off the ground,” Beshear said in a statement. “The kickoff to construction is a major milestone that is the product of lots of community support and buy-in at all levels of government. We all look forward to the role the improved airport will play in spurring economic development and connecting the world to Western Kentucky.”
Airport Executive Director Dennis Rouleau said the new terminal will be beneficial for the whole region, not just Paducah.
“Not only do we believe this will spur growth and development both on and around the airport, but by providing a new, modern and attractive front door to the region, we believe we will help spur and facilitate growth throughout the entire region,” Rouleau said in a statement.
Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless also attended. Harless described the airport as a “cornerstone” of the region, and added the terminal will provide a positive outlook for the area.
“Investing in the airport creates opportunities for additional economic development and sets the stage for generating positive first impressions that elicit excitement and curiosity for Paducah and McCracken County and the surrounding region,” she said in a statement.
The Barkley Regional Airport’s Board of Directors awarded its first construction contract for the airport terminal in September. The airport has received $24 million for construction in government funding, according to Rouleau — $5 million in state funding, and another $19 million from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The airport hopes to begin construction starting early 2021. It plans to open to the public by early 2023.