Airport members all over West Virginia were in Elkins Wednesday to meet with the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission.
Nineteen of the state's airports are looking for assistance by the aeronautics commission to complete capital improvements. Those improvements can be for runways or airport terminals.
The commission held its quarterly meeting in Elkins, which was hosted by the Elkins-Randolph County Airport Authority. The commission acts as a conduit in which FAA grants are delivered to airports from around the state. It gave grants of more than $20 million.
"All of these are important projects that provide increase safety at our airports, and to allow also our airports to expand and grow," said Paul Maddox, state director of transportation.
Infrastructure projects are 90 percent funded through FAA funds; 10 percent comes from the state through the aeronautics commission. Airports who meet the commission's criteria can qualify. It's funded by a state tax on aviation fuel and general revenue funds.
"The aeronautics commission puts together the tax money they get from the excess tax on fuel. So people who fly, and use the airports and use airplanes are financing that part of it," said Nils Heinke, president of Elkins Randolph County Airport Authority.
Airports who apply said their projects cannot continue without this support by federal and state government.
"We recently completed a $2.8 million project for a total runway rehabilitation of two, three, and five. No way we could have done that with local money," Heinke said.
Maddox said for the size of West Virginia, airports are in pretty good shape, and the commission applauds those members who make sure that continues.
"We were really proud of our airport system here in West Virginia, and the work various members of the commission does, and the board members who oversee our airports in West Virginia. They just do a great job," Maddox said.
The aeronautics commission holds meetings around the state to get better information from those airports.