MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Morgantown Municipal Airport's long-awaited runway extension project is expected to begin next fall.

Officials of the West Virginia city on Thursday announced the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the extension earlier this month after five years of back-and-forth with the agency.

Officials say the project will add 1,001 feet (305 meters) to the runway to modernize the airport, help recruit new businesses and improve safety. The airport currently has the shortest runway in the state at 5,199 feet (1,584 meters).

The project will take at least five years to finish and will cost an estimated $50 million. A news release from Morganton officials say the bulk of the funding will come from the FAA and the rest will be paid for by the city and state.

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