Airport runway a big boost for Thief River Falls
Word from Congressman Collin Peterson's office is that the Transportation Department is providing $1.6 million for a project to build a longer runway at the Thief River Falls airport.
The project is a big deal for a local business and a new tech school program.
A longer runway of 7,500 feet has long been on the wish list for folks at Digi Key, a company that distributes electronic parts all over the world. The company ships nearly two million packages a year, most by air. Fed Ex wants to bring in a 757 to pick up packages, the airport runway is too short. So that means multiple daily flights with smaller planes. A runway extension will simplify shipping and projected growth for Digi Key.
The longer runway is also critical for a new Unmanned Aircraft Maintenance program at Northland Community and Technical College. The college received a $5 million federal grant to start the new program this fall, but one of the requirements was a longer runway so large unmanned aircraft like the Global Hawk could land there.
There's also a $2.5 million hanger expansion underway right now at the airport in Thief River Falls. That should be finished later this summer.
So tell me, will the people who complain about subsidies for light rail or Amtrak also complain about this subsidy to DigiKey and FedEx?
Every form of transportation gets a subsidy from the government. I don't understand why it is okay for some and not others.