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Airport gives the state a 'grand' first impression.

More and more businesses are realizing the convenience of using the facility

In this age of frequent-flying business travelers, heavy competition for tourism dollars and a growing demand by companies for just-in-time deliveries, a thriving airport is crucial to insure the long-term vitality of a city Airports across the country generate millions, and even billions, of dollars in direct economic contribution for the regions they serve.

The development and success of Manchester Airport has served as a catalyst for an ongoing revitalization program and has helped to pave the way for many new and exciting projects in the city of Manchester. It's not just a coincidence that Manchester routinely gets named one of the best small cities in the east. Our success as an airport, and equally as a city, is the product of thoughtful and inclusive long-range planning and tremendous support from local government. Manchester has made a conscious effort to strike a balance between economic and industrial development and the quality of life issues that are so important to all its citizens.

Centrally located in the heart of the region's primary business and financial district, Manchester Airport is less than an hour's drive from the region's most popular ski areas, scenic seacoast beaches and peaceful lakefront resorts. Easy access, ample, inexpensive parking, competitive airfares and a growing schedule of non-stop and direct jet service-to leading U.S. cities make Manchester Airport a grand first impression of our city and state.

Manchester Airport is served by Air Canada, American Eagle; Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Continental Connection, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection-COMAIR, MetroJet, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines; United Airlines, U.S Airways and U.S. Airways Express.

Manchester also is New England's third-largest cargo airport behind Boston's Logan and Hartford's Bradley. Over the past several years; FedEx, UPS and Airborne Express have all invested millions of dollars increasing ramp, sorting and distribution capabilities at Manchester. One of the main reasons for this steady growth is that more and more businesses are realizing the convenience of using Manchester Airport to move products in and out of New England.

The recent success of the airport has represented an enormous economic benefit for the city of Manchester and state of New Hampshire. In 1998, Manchester Airport contributed more than $500 million to the local economy. By 2010, it is estimated that the economic benefit of the airport will grow to over $1 billion annually.

In order to meet the facility and infrastructure challenges brought about by Manchester's growing popularity, the airport has embarked upon a $320 million capital improvement program designed to reconstruct runways and taxiways, improve parking and access and expand the passenger terminal. At the completion of this program, in 2004-05, not one square foot of pavement or airport facility will be over 12 years old. Manchester Airport will have completely reconstructed and updated the entire airport without missing one day of operation.

Success, however, does come at a price. There are environmental and social impacts associated with developing an airport that certainly cannot be overlooked. One of the major goals of Manchester Airport is to minimize the impact of aircraft noise on homeowners living in neighborhoods around the airport. One of the programs that Manchester Airport is quite proud of is its residential sound insulation program. The airport, with strong support from the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen and our congressional delegation, has been working hard with FAA officials to help them better the airport's priorities and needs as a growing airport. At Manchester, being a good neighbor and working with the community is as important as improving runways and developing new facilities.

With a recent $5 million grant from the FAA, the city of Manchester has received more than $17 million dedicated to the Manchester Airport Residential Sound Insulation Program. To date, Manchester Airport has completed sound insulation modifications to approximately 330 homes. The average cost for improvements is between $25,000 and $35,000 per home. There are about 1,000 eligible homes remaining in the program. It is the airport's goal to sound insulate all eligible homes in the program. As a result, Manchester will continue to fight hard for its share of available federal funding.

Manchester Airport would like to acknowledge the tremendous support it receives from its neighbors, the local communities and our state and federal officials. Manchester Airport is an important economic asset to the city of Manchester and the entire state of New Hampshire, creating jobs and increasing opportunities for everyone.

Kevin A. Dillon is director of Manchester Airport.
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Author:Dillon, Kevin A.
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 17, 2000
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