Fort Scott City Commissioners have approved a slate of improvement projects to take place the next several years at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport.
On Tuesday, commissioners approved a five-year capital improvement plan for the airport and talked briefly about other airport projects. The plan, which runs from 2017 to 2021, includes projects ranging from replacement of lighting systems in 2018 to possible runway extension in 2020-21.
Airport Manager Kenny Howard updated commissioners on the five-year plan. He said a plan to reconstruct the apron at the airport in 2016 is a joint project between the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. He said the project will be funded through a combination of grant money from both agencies.
For this project, the pavement on the apron ramp area will be redone, Howard said Wednesday.
“They will tear out the old concrete and replace it with brand new concrete,” he said.
A 2015 project involved installation of a new wind cone at the airport, which Howard said was completed with FAA grant funds.
Howard said most airport projects are funded by 90-10 matching grants, with the city’s portion being 10 percent of the total project cost. The FAA scores projects to determine which projects receive funds and how much is allotted.
“They rate projects to see how much of a need there is to do the projects for airports,” Howard said.
There are no projects planned for 2017 so entitlement funds — money allotted to airports through the FAA — can be built up, Howard said.
“We want to let our entitlement money build back up a little bit … so we can save it for bigger projects coming up,” he said.
Two projects in 2018 will involve replacement of the runway edge lighting system and the taxiway edge lighting system. Total cost for each project is $380,000, with $342,000 in federal funds and $38,000 in local funds.
In 2019, there is an $80,000 project to remove runway pentrations — which Howard said are “tall objects, like trees, at the end of runways.” This project involves $72,000 in federal funds and $8,000 in local funds.
Howard said pentrations are located “so many feet off of the runway” and can be a problem for pilots landing aircraft, especially at night.
“They start interfering with landing at some point,” he said.
A $1.5 million project in 2020 would involve land acquisition toward proposed extension of the airport runway from 4,400-feet-by-75-feet wide to an additional 897-feet-by-75-feet. According to the improvement plan, the land acquisition involves $1.3 million in federal funds and $150,200 in local funds. A project to design the runway extension in 2021 would cost $250,000 to $225,000 in federal funds and $25,000 in local funds.
Commissioners unanimously approved the five-year improvement plan. H.W. Lochner, Inc., of Lenexa is the engineering consultant firm that helped with preparation of the plan.
“They help with design of the projects and help engineer projects,” Howard said. “They also oversee that the project is done correctly. With FAA projects, there are certain standards to meet and they use certain materials to meet FAA standards.”
The plan also includes a long-range needs assessment with the following projects planned for 2022-2026, as well as their total estimated costs and funding sources:
* Runway extension — $3 million, with $2.7 million in federal funds and $300,700 in local funds.
* Extend runway edge lighting — $200,000, with $180,000 in federal funds and $20,000 in local funds.
* Construct partial parallel taxiway — $354,000, with $318,000 in federal funds and $35,400 in local funds.
* Install new taxiway edge lighting — $210,000, with $189,000 in federal funds and $21,000 in local funds.
* Update Master Plan and Airport Layout Plan — $150,000, with $135,000 in federal funds and $50,000 in local funds.
* Upgrade medium intensity light system to a high intensity light system — $250,000, with $225,000 in federal funds and $25,000 in local funds.
* Install runway alignment indicators for the runway, which Howard said “helps guide pilots,” — $1.5 million, with $13 million in federal funds and $150,000 in local funds.
Howard said future projects “depend on funding available.”