“We have several projects going in in the City of Ozark. We have some public projects going on, and we have some private business projects going on that really make Ozark on the move,” said Mayor Billy Blackwell.
And the city is indeed on the move with some major plans to improve the Ozark-Blackwell Field Airport.
Mayor Blackwell says the improvements will provide services for pilots and give people easy access to Highway 231 from the airport.
“Anytime that you can open your front door and show off the first impression of Ozark in this manner to the corporate traffic that we’ll have, it speaks volumes about your community,” Blackwell said.
Phase one is now now underway, with the taxiway and drainage construction, and project organizers say the final tab will exceed three million dollars. But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to pick up close to two million dollars of it, and the city just received a grant from the FAA for nearly one million of that amount.
“We’ve been very fortunate through grants from the FAA as well as from the state that have all been very helpful in providing the funding for this project, as well as our local funding and our mayor and city council having the foresight to see that this is a very important part of economic development for this area,” said Stephanie Blankenship, the director of Aviation Services.
Phases two and three will include paving the taxiway, and constructing an aircraft parking apron, entrance road, and the new aviation terminal building. The new building will include a pilots lounge, WiFi connections, a kitchen area and conference rooms.
“We’ve had several companies that have moved in to Ozark that are already utilizing our airport, because its available to them. So, we’re just real excited that this will give them the opportunity to have the amenities that they need.”
She says all pilots will have access to the terminal. She also says the city hopes to increase corporate air traffic.
The construction on the airport project is also taking place during General Aviation Appreciation Month.
Blankenship says construction on these projects should be near completion by the end of next year.