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Archive for Thursday, August 2, 1990

DEVELOPMENT PLAN UPDATED FOR AIRPORT

August 2, 1990

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More than $10 million in possible development projects for the Lawrence Municipal Airport are contained in the proposed master plan update for the airport, which was presented to the city's Aviation Advisory Board Wednesday in city hall.

"This is pretty final, pretty complete. There shouldn't be any big holes in it," said Jim Sirhall, of Sirhall and Associates Inc., the Aurora, Colo., consulting firm that compiled the 170-page master plan update.

The update, which was compiled from several drafts presented at public meetings with the board, contains three phases of proposed development through the year 2010.

Proposed items and estimated costs include a $1.2 million instrument landing system, $1.7 million for acquisition of 90 acres of land and easements for a 700-foot runway extension, construction of taxiways and strengthening of runways, and $758,800 for construction of new hangars.

THE PLAN calls for the city to seek Federal Aviation Administration grants to pay 90 percent of most of the proposed projects. The city would pay the remaining 10 percent.

The plan doesn't set an exact timetable for the inprovements, saying they should be implemented on an "as-needed" basis.

Sirhall also stressed that none of the developments is set in concrete.

"This plan is just your basic outline," he said. "None of the developments listed here are things that have to be done. The plan serves as a guide for the FAA and the city for any projects that you may consider."

However, he recommended that the city develop a comprehensive five-year plan based on the first phase of the master plan and send the plan to the FAA.

Wednesday's meeting lasted about 2 hours. A second meeting was held at 7:30 p.m. at the same location to explain the plan to about 15 members of the public who attended.

Bob Newton, former chairman of the advisory board, said the FAA would be more likely to award grants for the airport once it has an outline of the city's plans.

The first phase of the master plan, which includes 1991 through 1995, contains $4.9 million in proposed development projects.

"IF EVERYTHING worked perfectly in the first 10 years, we're still showing you in the deficit position," Sirhall said of the economic feasibility of the proposed developments.

"But by the last 10 years, you will be in a positive position," he said.

Representatives of the consulting firm, which was hired by the city to update the 20-year airport master plan, said the proposed development projects would bring increased commercial activity to the airport and upgrade the airport's classification from "general avivation" to a transport facility.

The board will have a final meeting with representatives of the consulting firm at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the airport to recommend priority changes in proposed development items before the updated master plan is presented to the city commission for approval. If approved by the city commission, the upgraded master plan would be sent to the FAA.

In other business at Wednesday afternoon's meeting, Jim Green, controller at Quaker Oats Co, 727 N. Iowa, was elected president of the Aviation Advisory Board. Green succeeds Newton, whose term expired in May.

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