MONETT, MO.— The biggest expansion project in the history of one local airport is underway.
City leaders have been working to purchase the land they will need to nearly triple the footprint of the Monett Regional Airport.
They say a little expense is going to have a big impact.
“Some days we’ll have as many as 30 to 40 operations, some days less,” says Howard Frazier.
Frazier is the manager of the Monett Regional Airport, where they serve a lot of business in the area. City leaders are looking at giving Frazier even more to do by expanding the size of the facility.
Currently, there’s a 5,000 foot long runway that’s 75 feet wide. With increased activity and projected growth, the city wants to build something larger.
“Which is 6,001 feet, by 100 feet wide,” said Dennis Pyle, Monett City Administrator.
Monett City Administrator Dennis Pyle says the expansion is a positive for the city. ”
A lot of it has to do with the business here in Monett and the surrounding area,” said Pyle.
He believes expanding now will help keep the area’s economy growing for years to come. ”
Monett Regional is a major factor in the economic development of our community and the bi-county area,” Pyle explained.
Pyle says out of 100 general aviation airports in the state of Missouri, Monett Regional is the seventh largest as far as economic output.
“There are 82 jobs indirectly related to Monett Regional. A payroll of over $4.2 million and an economic output to the community of over $13 million just from the airport,” said Plye.
Pyle says building the new runway and acquiring the 370 acres needed for the expansion will cost about $17.5 million. The federal government will cover 90% of that cost, and an additional 5% will be covered at the state level. ”
We think that we’re going to be about $850,000 in cost,” Plye explained.
Frazier says there’s another reason for the expansion that may have been overlooked, and it’s worth more than money. ”
Any time you’ve got more runway, it’s going to be safer,” said Frazier.
The city has already acquired five of the 10 properties that make up the 370 acres, giving them about 268 acres more at the airport. Pyle says it will likely take another couple of years to finish purchasing the land, but phases for paving the new runway could start sooner.