NEW BEDFORD - The New Bedford Regional Airport is getting a big chunk of change to execute long-needed updates.

Massachusetts U.S. Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, along with Congressman William Keating, have announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $6.6 million to the New Bedford Regional Airport.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate the airport's runway, which is currently the oldest in the state. The runway was originally built in 1943 and first resurfaced in the 1970s.3

“It’s exciting to see New Bedford Regional Airport continue to grow and to play an even more important role in the local economy,” Senator Warren said in a press release. “I’m very glad to work with Mayor Mitchell, Congressman Keating, and Senator Markey to help get this federal funding for the city. With this grant, the federal government is strengthening its partnership with New Bedford as the city works to improve its infrastructure and create new opportunities for area businesses.”

"The New Bedford Regional Airport is a vital link for the South Coast to the national and global economy, and this runway repair funding will help ensure the region can continue to grow,” said Senator Markey. “Investments in aging infrastructure create jobs and support economic development, and I congratulate New Bedford for securing this important funding."

“Runways typically last twenty years, so this project is long overdue,” said Congressman Keating. “I am glad the Department of Transportation made this vital award to New Bedford.  Their regional airport is critical to the economy of the area.  We must continue to invest in our nation’s aging infrastructure if we want to succeed locally and compete globally.”

“Coming on the heels of the FAA’s approval of expanded commercial air service at New Bedford Airport, the new runway is another important step in the airport’s modernization,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “A 21st-century airport will give us a competitive advantage in attracting capital and creating jobs and will tie Greater New Bedford more tightly to the national economy. I’m grateful for the advocacy of our federal delegation for this critical funding.”

“Along with New Bedford’s port, the airport is another economic engine for our city,” said City Council President Joseph Lopes. “Investments to enhance the capacity of our airport will drive more economic development for New Bedford.”