Local Impact

The airport is critical to the local economy and economic development initiatives. A variety of locally based companies use the airport to extend the reach of their businesses outside the region.


Airport Fact Sheet

National media reports during the past year have cited the airport receiving about $200 million in funding from the Department of Defense. That funding has NOT been used to subsidize the facility’s commercial, corporate and general aviation operations, including the terminal. Those funds have been used to construct a concrete reinforced runway for military purposes and to build military installations located near and around the airport proper.

Between commercial, military, corporate and private usage, the airport handles more than 45,000 flight operations each year. Military and corporate, followed by commercial and private users, constitute the majority of the air traffic at the airport.

A study by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aviation calculated the annual economic benefits stemming from the airport result in over 1,200 jobs, an annual payroll of $23 million and an annual economic output over $217 million.

The airport is critical to the local economy and economic development initiatives. A variety of locally based companies use the airport to extend the reach of their businesses outside the region. It has also aided in drawing installations from a number of national and international companies into the region, bringing much-needed jobs to an economically disadvantaged region.

U.S. Rep. John Murtha does not use the airport for his private and commercial travel on a frequent basis. The congressman makes the trip to and from Washington by land.

According to a June 1, 2009 Senate Report on subsidy funding made to rural airports through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, the airport receives a federal subsidy of $106.74 per passenger.

  • Among the 96 airports for which per passenger subsidy information was available, the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport ranked 69th, which places its subsidy level in the bottom 28% of all facilities receiving EAS funding.
  • Some airports receive per-passenger subsidies into the thousands of dollars. Ely, Nev., had the highest per-passenger subsidy at more than $4,500.

Stimulus funds distributed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for infrastructure projects must go to projects that are “shovel ready.” The repaving project of the airport’s crosswind runway, used 40% of the time, was a “shovel ready” project and therefore was a qualified and validated project. The FAA steered the stimulus funds to the airport, not Mr. Murtha.

  • The crosswind runway was over 25 years old and was scheduled on the airport and FAA’s Five (5) Year Plan, as well as the states Twelve Year Plan for airport improvement projects. The Authority only had enough Airport Improvement Funds (AIP) to renovate one-half of the runway in 2008. In June, 2008 the FAA stated that they would try to find discretionary funds to do the entire runway which would save tens of thousands of dollars in increased cost due to engineering and rebidding of the project.

The airport is critical to the U.S. Military.

  • Over 1,000 National Guard and Reservists are based around the airport and use the facility on a daily basis. Currently, many of those Warfighters are deployed to the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters.
  • The main runway concrete reinforcement project, at the request of the military, was a long-term military initiative. The military’s request was the result of its need for a KC-135 relocation contingency plan for the 171st Air Refueling Wing based at Pittsburgh International Airport and other large military transport aircraft, C-17, C-5, C-130, supporting PA’s National Guard forces in this region.
    • Reinforced runways are necessary to handle the weight of the KC-135 tankers.
  • Early in 2010, the 258th Air Traffic Control Squadron, of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, will staff the radar system at the airport and will take control of the airspace in the central part of the state, primarily for military training and significantly increase air safety in this region.
    • The Squadrons primary mission is to prepare, train, and equip air traffic control and maintenance personnel for rapid deployment in support of our nation’s worldwide contingency operations.
    • Its correlating or supporting mission, in conjunction with its primary training mission, is to provide air traffic control tower services for the airport and a Low Altitude Surveillance Radar (LASR) for the region.
    • Furthermore, with the LASR coming online and the possible addition of a military “use only” Precision Approach Radar (PAR), the airport expects to see a tenfold increase in military air traffic, flying from military bases around the country, to take advantage of the superb flight training environment JST will provide to its aircrews.

Congressman John P. Murtha has only done what a good representative should do and has made a public asset a reality by supporting our U.S. Military’s worldwide mission, economic development and jobs to the region at large.

© 2010 John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport; All rights Reserved.

479 Airport Rd, Johnstown, PA 15904
Flight Information: (814) 539-3510

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