MORRISVILLE (AP) -- Small planes are flying in and out of the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport again after the first phase of $27 million in improvements rebuilt the runway, the airport’s first big upgrade in 35 years.

The airport, which closed in April for construction, reopened Friday with a rebuilt runway, new lighting system, reconfigured parking, and other improvements.

Vermont Public Radio reports the improvements were funded with the help of a $4 million federal Airport Improvement Project grant.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is scheduled to visit the airport on Tuesday to highlight the upgrades.

Stowe Aviation, a private firm that started leasing the airport from the state in July, plans to invest about $20 million for a new passenger terminal, an air charter company to improve access from the Stowe region to New York, Boston, Toronto and Washington, and a customs and immigration building.

The project is designed to bring increased business and leisure traffic to the region as well as making it easier for locals to travel.


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