August 05, 2013

Springfield Republican: Sen. Elizabeth Warren touts infrastructure investment during tour of runway construction project at Barnes Regional Airport in Westfield

By: Robert Rizzuto
August 5, 2013

WESTFIELD - Wrapping a Western Massachusetts swing that brought Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren across the Berkshires this past weekend, the first-term legislator stopped in Westfield on Monday to tour the runway construction project at Barnes Regional Airport.

The airport, which is in the midst of a $20 million project involving runway reconstruction and other upgrades to better facilitate the military's F-15 fighter jets that land there, is considered a key military installation in Massachusetts and on the East Coast.

The construction project at Barnes is expected to boost not just the military operations there, which constitute only 16 percent of the 65,000 annual takeoffs and landings, but also its civilian operations.

"Western Massachusetts is a place that has to build on its strengths, and one of its strengths is Barnes. So making sure that Barnes is strong, making sure that Barnes has a real future, not just a future over the next couple of years, but a long-term future... that's critical," Warren said following a tour of the facility with military and airport officials. "My whole Senate campaign was about how we build a future. And we build a future by investing in education and we build a future by investing in this kind of infrastructure; this is key for us. And Barnes is a great example of that."

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