An area airport reopened to air traffic yesterday after being temporarily shut down after being vandalized Christmas Night.
The Pittsfield Penstone Airport was closed Thursday morning when it was discovered that several runway lights had been damaged sometime the previous night.
Airport manager John Guthrie told the Jacksonville Journal Courier yesterday that the airport was closed at approximately 8 am Thursday while airport authorities and police investigators assessed the damage to navigational lights and lights outlining the airport’s wind indicator.
Due to the lights being inoperable and glass that was strewn across the runway by the vandals, Federal Aviation Administration regulations forced the shut down of the airport until repairs were made.
Guthrie said that the airport reopened for air traffic around 8 a.m. Yesterday after repairs were completed.
A full estimate of the damage is not yet available to airport officials. The Jacksonville Journal Courier is reporting that more than 20 globes on the navigational lights were broken by the vandals, which cost between $80.00 and $120.00 each to replace.
The vandalism is being categorized as a federal offense due to the airport being a federal facility. There has been no word yet on the status of the investigation by police.
Penstone is a publicly owned airport that lies 2 miles north of the city on U.S. 54 and is a 24 hour self-service fuel station able to support corporate jets, light twin engine and turboprop aircraft.
The airport has been in operation since 1974.