PITTSBURG, KS.— The City of Pittsburg is moving forward with plans to reconstruct the runway at the Atkinson Municipal Airport.
“What we’re looking at is actually two projects. So one will be a maintenance project, which will be the mill and overlay of the existing main runway 1634. And the second project will be an extension of that project, and extension of 600 feet to the end of it,” said Bill Beasley, Public Works Director.
Due to the size of the planes, the current runway poses a safety threat. The 600 foot extension will make room for the large private planes that use the airport.
“Currently, they can operate on what we have. But in the heat of the summer, if they have a heavy load, the extra runway will be a safety feature for them,” said Beasley.
The project is estimated to cost $3.5 million. However, grants from the Federal Aviation Administration will cover 90% of the fees. The remaining costs will come from the operations budget and general obligation bonds. City officials expect to close the airport during periods of construction.
“We will have to close it for a period of time. We’ll work with the contractors to set up some times so they can operate. And then when they’re not operating, then we’ll leave the runway open for planes to come and go,” Beasley explained.
City commissioners approved the design for the runway at yesterday’s meeting, and construction is expected to begin late next year.