VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Congressman Bill Johnson said that an $8 million federal grant to resurface taxiways at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) will also have an added benefit when trying to attract an airline to the Youngstown Regional Airport.

Johnson announced Friday that the Western Reserve Port Authority received the grant from the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program to be used at the air station.

The resurfacing of Taxiway Hotel (H) coincides with the upcoming arrival of eight new C-130J airplanes at the station, according to Josh Prest, executive director for the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission.

Johnson said the work could also make the airport more attractive to commercial business.

“The Western Reserve Port Authority and local officials within the Mahoning Valley at all levels have been working as hard as ever to maintain the airport, attract commercial airlines, and support the mission of the 910th Airlift Wing,” Johnson said. “This grant under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program, which I voted to support in 2018 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, will go a long way towards achieving these goals.”

Groundbreaking will happen once all environmental requirements have been met, according to the Department of Defense.