Those who stop at the Greene County Airport in the next few months might be given a shovel and pressed into service to help with several projects planned there. Well, maybe not quite, but soon the airport will be a hive of activity as those projects get underway in the summer, according to airport manager Dave Kushner.
“The whole goal is to bring in more commerce to the area,” he said.
That chain of projects is slated to begin in May, when the airport will close for 30 days while the airport’s 337,500-square-foot runway is resurfaced. According to a recent estimate, the Federal Aviation Administration will pay the lion’s share (about $1.2 million) of the $1.6 million project while local funds make up the remainder of the price tag.
The resurfacing project comes as the runway has begun to show signs of its age through cracks along its surface. The runway was last paved about 10 years ago.
Current-state plans also call for the airport to add a new approximately 2,000-square-foot “run-up” area near the runway, where pilots can “pull in and do their checks before they depart,” Kushner said. He estimated the project would cost about $300,000 and would be constructed around the same time as the paving project.
Next on the list is the addition of a 75,000-square-foot aircraft parking ramp that would cost “in the neighborhood of around $1.3 million,” according to Kushner.
That ramp would also serve as access to a new 7,500-square-foot hangar which airport officials hope will attract corporate or educational partners. Kushner added that hangar construction would have to wait until the ramp was completed, but hoped work would start on the project – estimated in the $400,000-$500,000 range – in 2016. Two additional similar hangars are also planned in coming years.
“We just need the space,” Kushner said of the new hangar. “We have zero space inside. If we had a corporate jet come in here right now and they needed to stay overnight, we’d have nowhere for them.”
The projects come after Greene County Commissioners pledged about $1.3 million of support to the airport at the end of 2015, with the goal of developing the airport as a commerce hub.
“The commissioners have a vision that the airport is a gateway into the county,” Kushner said. “We share in that vision. … We hope to attract corporate and educational clients in and eventually form some partnerships.”