Vermont will receive nearly $1.5 million in federal money to extend the runway at the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport to improve safety, and the project could have a significant impact on the airport’s use.

The project will add 250 feet of pavement to the safety areas at each end of the runway. For most private pilots, that will add 500 feet for takeoffs, which could allow larger planes with more passengers and more freight.

The total cost is estimated at $1,662,213 — $1,495,992 in federal money and $166,221 in state funds.

In a joint statement, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch said, “This funding will enable Vermont to improve safety at one of our busiest airports used by local pilots as well as visitors from out of state. Safe airports with active private and commercial use are a vital part of Vermont’s transportation infrastructure.

“The Morrisville-Stowe Airport is a vital part of the state aviation system … These changes will have a direct effect on economic development opportunities, as we continue to work to grow the economy,” said Gov. Phil Scott.

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