Bradford Regional Airport: Renovations Reflect Character of the PA Wilds
McKean County | Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds of the Pennsylvania Wilds
By Ed Byers
For the first time since 1993, Bradford Regional Airport terminal is undergoing a major facelift thanks to funding of $1.2 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division.
“The airport is in dire need of a revamp both from a cosmetic and functional perspective,” said Airport Manager Alicia Dankesreiter. “Literally every surface inside the building will be touched in some way.”
Alicia said the PA Wilds will be playing a big part in the overall appearance of the airport upon completion.
“The inspiration for the new look is the PA Wilds Design Guide for Community Character Stewardship. While we are not changing the footprint of the terminal building, we are adding new features, including a covered sidewalk, seating and signage outside,” she said. “The building will have new stone columns, a raised portico roof and no more red brick. Placed prominently at the entrance will be a piece of laser cut artwork depicting a scene from the adjacent forests.”
Alicia explained that the airport design team will collaborate with the PA Wilds Planning Team to discuss signage and other decorative features. Many of the plans are in line with development strategies set forth in the PA Wilds Design Guide for Community Character Stewardship.
Key players in the renovation project are PA Wilds-centric companies, KTH architects and GAI Consultants in project engineering, both of DuBois.
Alicia said what everyone is hoping for is creating a “wow-factor” for the finished project. “The airport is often the first thing visitors see when they get to the area and we want it to be something the community can be proud of,” she explained. “We have gray walls and old tile floors. That’s all being replaced with materials that speak to our beautiful rural location, abundant natural resources and talented local artisans. After completion it’s going to feel warm and inviting and you might not even want to leave!”
The first thing incoming passengers see is the rear area of the terminal. There, all incoming air passengers land and enter the airport’s “ramp” area. “That area is also getting attention with the addition of a new covered entrance with signing and lighting,” said Alicia. “On the inside, floors, ceilings, restrooms, and furniture are all being brought up to date to echo the feel of our surroundings.”
She said there will be warm woods, supple leathers, locally sourced artwork, and a new floor-to-ceiling stone-clad fireplace. Alicia also noted that the new design will leave space for possible additional features, such as a gift shop or maybe a gourmet coffee kiosk in the future. But, in the meantime, it will be business as usual at Bradford Regional with routine bouts of “pardon our dust.”
Because the physical structure itself isn’t changing, Alicia said they’re looking at a relatively quick six-month construction timeline, with renovation beginning this spring, and hopes for an unveiling party during the holiday season later in the year.
Until then, she said, it is surely going to be an exciting year at Bradford Regional Airport.
“With a fabulous fresh new look and our very affordable four daily flights from Pittsburgh International Airport, we want the Bradford Regional Airport to not just welcome people to Bradford or McKean County, but to be the Gateway to the PA Wilds.”
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published to pawilds.com/blog in February 2019. The Bradford Regional Airport will soon be making announcements regarding the terminal upgrade project!”
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