The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (JST) serves as the hub for over 45,000 air operations a year for the military, scheduled commercial airline service, and corporate aircraft serving a multi-county market area. The airport is a vital source for the area’s businesses and industries, as well as a key contributor to the region’s economy. JST serves as one of a network of sixteen (16) scheduled Commercial Air Service Airports within the state of Pennsylvania which provides its residents and businesses with outstanding access to regional, national, and international markets.
The Johnstown Airport's economic benefits to the region include over 1200 jobs, an annual payroll of $23 million and an annual economic output over $217 million.
A study by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aviation calculated the annual economic benefits to the region, stemming from the airport, and result in over 1200 jobs, an annual payroll of $23 million and an annual economic output over $217 million. These economic returns represent just a fraction of the total economic benefits that may be expected for our airport. The opportunity for growth remains high with the availability of land and an infrastructure that has seen major upgrades to its water, sewage, gas, runway, taxiway and major road improvements to support business and industry development throughout the airport proper.
The airport is located five miles east of the City of Johnstown, PA and is home to 68-based aircraft, several military helicopter units, C-12 Support Airlift aircraft, a Joint Military Control Tower and Low Altitude Radar Surveillance facility (operational in 2010). The Johnstown Cambria County Airport Authority was founded in 1950, formed by Cambria County Commissioners, and consists of seven volunteer Board members who are appointed by the Cambria County Commissioners. JST began to develop as a commercial air service airport at that time. United Express provides direct service to Washington-Dulles International Airport with the SAAB 340, a 34 seat full in-flight passenger service aircraft.
The airport has two main runways, 15/33 and 5/23. Runway 33/15 is a concrete reinforced 7003’ long, 150’ wide runway built to support heavy military airplanes and Runway 23/5, is an asphalt 4386’ long, 100’ wide crosswind runway. The airport provides Precision and Non-Precision Instrument Approaches, a state of the art air traffic control tower and radar facility (early spring 2010). It also has a Fixed Based Operation (FBO) to service military, corporate, and general aviation airplanes for fuel, performs maintenance and a flight school. Additionally, the airport has a modern terminal, major growth infrastructure in place with good highway access, and several businesses that operate at the airport.
Since 1997, under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), state and local funding support, the Airport Authority has; extended its runway 2000’ to accommodate larger commercial; corporate and military aircraft; constructed a new passenger terminal; parking lots and roads; an ARFF/SRE (fire and maintenance support building); perimeter security fencing, new taxiways; snow removal equipment; Airport Master Plan; Wild life Assessment and Wildlife Action Plan and several related major airport safety improvement projects that help to enhance the transportation facility. Approximate investment by FAA, state and local funding is $20 million.
In 1997, through the efforts of Congressman Murtha, 12th Congressional District, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s (PANG) 258th Air Traffic Control Squadron located at the Johnstown Airport. 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, as of spring 2010, a Low Altitude Surveillance Radar (LASR) for the region. Approximately $28.5 million was invested in this state-of –the-art PANG training facility that included a Control Tower, Low Altitude Surveillance Radar and an Air Traffic Control Support Center, which provides offices, training areas, warehouse space, and other related air traffic support services. Furthermore, with the Low Altitude Surveillance Radar coming on line in 2010 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.
Separate from the airport and its financial and development initiatives, and, also, due in large part to the efforts of Congressman John Murtha, the U.S. Military’s Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Marine Corps has invested heavily in facilities and infrastructure located around the airport proper. The Pennsylvania National Guard continues to improve the quality and capabilities of their core mission capabilities and provisions to our state and our countries national security initiatives and deployments worldwide. In doing so, Johnstown became home to National Guard, Reserve and Active Units and brought well over 1000 jobs to this region.
In 2007, in direct support of planned military use requirements at JST, and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing’s (ARW) KC-135 worldwide mission, out of Pittsburgh, Pa, the airports main runway was concrete reinforced to accommodate the KC-135 and other heavy military aircraft such as the C-17 and C-130. This project, along with taxiways to support the KC-135 aircraft out of Pittsburg, cost approximately $23 million. The Department of Defense investment in facilities is estimated around 150 million dollars. The Airport Authority is proud to have the Military as our neighbors and friends.
The Airport Authority plans to continue its development endeavors, promote business opportunities with prime airport locations, provide jobs, improve commercial air service, develop general and corporate aviation, support it large military presence and strive for an outstanding aviation facility for their customers, and the region at large.