Live from John Murtha Airport

FOX News’ Griff Jenkins recently filed an interesting report on the “stimulus” money slated for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The report appeared as part of Sean Hannity’s Waste 101 special on “the 101 most egregious examples of wasteful federal government spending.”

The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria Airport comes in at number 59. The airport services a grand total of three flights a day, all to Washington Dulles. On a reduced basis, weekend service is also available! Jenkins reports that $800,000 in stimulus money will allow for the repaving of the airport’s alternate crosswinds runway and reviews the previous uses to which federal support of the airport has been put.

CNN has also reported that, although the airport only offers three commercial flights and has little other activity, the airport has received almost $200 million in federal subsidies. Tax money has previously supported the installation of an $8 million air traffic radar system that has yet to be used.

The CNN report notes that the Johnstown airport is not the only remote airport landing stimulus funds. CNN reports that, according to the FAA’s Web site, hundreds of big and small airports across the country are slated to receive $1 billion for projects such as the repaving of the altenrate crosswinds runway. CNN adds that “many of the airports are in such far-flung places as U.S. territories Guam and American Samoa. Even King Salmon, Alaska, (population 447) is expecting $9.7 million, according to FAA records.” Are these airport projects among those highly touted “shovel-ready” projects that helped to sell the stimulus bill?

Jenkins brings good humor to a story that is both maddening and revealing. The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport is a monument to waste. Now the recession has provided the occasion for the dedication of addtiional tax dollars to to it. Watching Jenkins’s report, I wondered how long it will be before Johnstown is renamed Murthagrad.

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