Avoca, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has secured a commitment from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to upgrade the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport's lighting system. In October, Casey pushed for the FAA to commit to the project, which helps planes safely land especially during inclement weather. Casey detailed the coming improvements and discussed the airport’s role as a driver of regional economic growth that attracts businesses and travelers from all over the country.
“Safe and reliable transportation is critical to our region’s economy so I’m pleased that the FAA has committed to making these upgrades,” Senator Casey said. “This week’s storm is a perfect example of why this new lighting system is needed and I’ll continue to push the FAA to prioritize getting this project done.”
Following Senator Casey’s effort, the FAA approved the project at the end of December and plans to begin a design meeting this month. The FAA is planning to have the project completed in 2015. Specifically the project will repair and replace AVP’s Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights (MALSR) system that helps planes lend, especially during inclement weather.
The text of Casey’s October letter can be seen below:
Michael P. Huerta
Federal Aviation Administration
Dear Administrator Huerta,
I write today to urge you to prioritize the allocation of Airport Improvement Program discretionary funds for the repair of the Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights (MALSR) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP). The MALSR is vital to the continued success and viability of the airport.
The MALSR is an important safety feature at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport and provides pilots with a visual reference while they are landing. Since northeastern Pennsylvania routinely experiences severe weather, the MALSR is crucial to allowing aircrafts to land safely during inclement weather when pilot visibility is not ideal. It is important that the FAA allocate funding for the repairs prior to winter. If not, many carriers may choose to cancel flights to the airport which will harm the regional economy.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I stand ready to assist you to resolve this issue, so that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport can continue to provide reliable affordable flights in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator