New Appropriations Bill Includes $8.7M to Widen Runway at YARS

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – An $8.7 million project in a new House Appropriations Committee bill will support the widening of the runway and taxiway at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan announced Monday.

Funded as part of the House Appropriations Committee’s military construction, Veterans Affairs and related agencies bill, the project will better support the station’s C-17 and C-130 aircraft and ensure the air station’s long-term viability.

“The runway widening is not only a win for YARS and the Mahoning Valley, but even more so for the Air Force as a whole,” said Col. Jeff Van Dootingh, 910th Airlift Wing and YARS installation commander, in a statement. “This project will make our base more capable and allow our joint partners to conduct critical military flight training at YARS.”

YARS is home to the 910th Airlift Wing, the Department of Defense’s only fixed-wing aerial spray unit. 

The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee draft bill is the first step in the funding process. The bill will move to the full Appropriations Committee, followed by consideration on the House floor and negotiations with the Senate.
Ryan is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, serving as chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee and vice-chairman of the Defense Subcommittee. The airbase funding was among several requests Ryan made for Community Project Funding requests to the Appropriations Committee. 

YARS is the largest employer in Trumbull County and the third largest in the Mahoning Valley behind Mercy Health and Youngstown State University.

Its area economic impact in 2020 was $137.3 million, up from $115 million in 2019 and $90 million in 2015. For 2020, this includes $103.1 million in annual payroll to Valley residents and more than $17 million in local expenditures.
 “I’m proud to have been able to use my position on the House Appropriations Committee to secure these important funds for YARS. The citizens of northeastern Ohio pay a lot in taxes to the federal government, and it is my job to bring as much of that money back to our community to create jobs, raise wages and improve our quality of life,” Ryan said. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.