Kentucky Gov. celebrates ground-breaking on new airport terminal project

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear joined local and state officials Friday to celebrate, virtually, the groundbreaking of a new $42 million airport terminal project in Paducah.

The new terminal complex at the Barkley Regional Airport is funded by a $5 million commitment from the state and more than $19 million in grants from the federal government. Officials said they were confident the project would receive more federal grant money in the future.

“Today’s event is the perfect bookend to my last visit announcing a $5 million state funding commitment to help this project get off the ground,” Beshear said. “The kickoff to construction is a major milestone that is the product of lots of community support and buy-in at all levels of government. We all look forward to the role the improved airport will play to spur economic development and connect the world to Western Kentucky.”

More than just a facelift for the 75-year-old facility, the new complex will hold a commercial terminal as well as space for industrial and commercial development in areas next to the site on and off the airfield.

“We call this project the airport for our future, but it is just the first step in making Barkley Regional Airport even more of an economic development engine for Paducah and all of far Western Kentucky,” said Dennis Rouleau, the airport’s executive director. “Not only do we believe this will spur growth and development both on and around the airport, but by providing a new, modern and attractive front door to the region, we believe we will help spur and facilitate growth throughout the entire region.”

This phase of the construction will include bringing utilities to the site, relocating an automated weather station on the airport and constructing new access road for the terminal, among other things.

In the meantime, the designs for the terminal building are being developed and are expected to be done in January. Officials hope construction for the building will begin in early 2021, with the building being open to the public in early 2023.