June 18, 2020

A recently extended runway means new business opportunities for Massachusetts’ Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT) and the surrounding area of Worcester County, according to airport officials. The airport completed construction on a runway extension project in late May, making its 5001-foot runway long enough for small business jet operations.

“The completion of the new runway will open up many new business opportunities as has been seen within the first week of opening,” Interim Airport Manager Peter Kettle told the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper. Within days of opening, two small jets arrived at Fitchburg to conduct business, with one purchasing 270 gallons of jet fuel and the other 170 gallons.

The project was funded by a $13.8 million grant from the FAA, plus a local contribution of $768,450, for which the airport took out a loan. While the project extended the airport’s primary runway, it also removed a shorter, secondary runway, which was the crosswind runway. The FAA would not support that runway – the agency’s evaluation determined it was seldom used. This creates space for future development for both aviation and non-aviation use.

Development will continue at the airport with capability for night precision instrument approaches expected soon. The airport is also working to install a self-serve fueling station to be completed by the end of June 2020. The fueling station project is being funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Massachusetts’ 30 general aviation airports are responsible for 5,000 jobs and an economic contribution of more than $630 million, according to a 2019 Massachusetts Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study.

Fitchburg Municipal Airport