Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $200,000 for parking improvements at Norwood Memorial Airport.  The funding was included in the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act for FY 2008, which now heads to the U.S. Senate.

The federal funding will enable the Town of Norwood to reconstruct the public parking area at Norwood Memorial Airport.  Presently, the 120 space parking area has deteriorated to a point that it has become a hazard to pedestrians and vehicles.  The reconstruction project will enhance the area with new curbing, paving, landscaping, and environmental improvements and lighting.

Congressman Lynch said, “I applaud the efforts of Russ Maguire, Mark Ryan and the Norwood Airport Commission to help move Norwood Airport forward by modernizing its facilities and continuing to incorporate the latest technological advances.  With the support of town leaders and Norwood’s delegation in the State House, Senator Marian Walsh and Representative John Rogers, they have been able to secure support and precious resources from the state and the Department of Transportation.  This additional federal funding will enable Norwood Airport to remain a strong economic engine for the town, and for the surrounding communities.”

Earlier this year, at the request of town officials, Congressman Lynch approached Republican and Democratic leaders on the House Appropriations Committee to formally request federal funding for major improvements to the parking area at Norwood Airport.  Congressman Lynch was notified that the funding would be included in the final House version of the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House this week, and will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.

The added federal funding continues a process of improvements to Norwood Airport that began in 2004, when Lynch helped the Airport to secure a $627,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to fund improvements to the facilities and infrastructure.

Mark Ryan, Vice Chair of the Norwood Airport Commission and Town Engineer, said, “We are obviously very excited about this appropriation as well as being very grateful for the efforts and support that Congressman Lynch has provided the Town and Norwood Memorial Airport. Not only will the funding provide safe passage for all that use the Airport, it will greatly enhance the Airport’s ability to attract new businesses and create new jobs. Congressman Lynch has provided a significant contribution to Norwood Airport’s vision as an important economic asset to the Town of Norwood and the region.”

Approximately 90,000 operations are performed each year at Norwood Airport. According to an economic analysis prepared by the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, the Airport contributes an annual economic benefit of $51.8 million statewide and $41.0 million for Norfolk County.