The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport has seen marked growth over the last few years and shows no sign of stopping. The airport has expanded its runway to 8,000 feet, making it the third airport in Kentucky with a runway 8,000 feet or longer (CORRECTED: WKMS originally reported the Owensboro runway was the third longest in Kentucky).
It has also spent almost $3 million to expand its terminal and invested $670,000 in its control tower. Airport Manager Bob Whitmer said increased commercial traffic has helped the airport make tremendous improvements over the last few years.
"These are services that the general public would like to have," Whitmer said. "And there's an economic development side to it also. If you don't have air service, a lot of businesses will not even consider the idea of coming to your community. Having a well-equipped airport is a big deal."
The Federal Aviation Administration grants the airport $1 million annually for boarding over 10,000 passengers a year, a mark reached in 2009. Whitmer said the airport has secured funding for its control tower through September of 2015 and plans to continue its growth spurt with a general aviation and professional flight school, an expanded relationship with the military, and more direct flights to Florida.