Airport board discusses crosswind runway

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Nevada Airport Board would like to keep the crosswind runway when the main runway is renovated, however, the Federal Aviation Agency and the Missouri Department of Transportation, appear to want that runway eliminated.

"They just want to kill it," Scott Buerge, airport board member, said during Thursday's board meeting.

According to MoDOT, the crosswind runway is in poor condition and the airport does not have enough usage to justify its renovation.

If the city can pay for repairing the crosswind runway, MoDOT does not object to the work being done, but there is no grant money available to cover the cost of the work.

On a recent trip to Jefferson City to discuss the airport renovation with MoDOT, Ron Jones, airport board chairman, told the board that he discussed converting the existing paved crosswind runway to a grass runway with Dave Hadel, Burns & McDonnell director of general aviation services, and Joe Pesci and Dave Buerle, MoDOT. Burns & McDonnell has the contract to develop the plan for the runway reconstruction.

Jones told the board that the MoDOT representatives seemed to agree that the grass runway would be a good idea, however, it would have to be 60 feet wide with another 75 foot on each side cleared of obstacles.

Jones told the board that Burns & McDonnell estimates that it would cost the city $470,000 to build a turf runway to replace the current crosswind runway.

About one-half of the estimated cost would be to remove the existing asphalt and do the necessary earthwork on the grass runway, Marie Wessley said.

There is no grant money to cover the cost of the construction and the city does not have the money to cover the cost. The city only has enough 95-percent matching grant money to do the renovation of the main runway.

"I'm not sure if Kansas City could even do a grass runway for that price," Craig Hubler, city manager, said.

The alternative to a grass runway would be asphalt and that would cost about $1.5 million, he said.

Jody Bryson, airport manager, said the crosswind runway would be needed to access the main runway when the runway apron is renovated in a couple of years.

"That's another reason to keep the crosswind runway," Buerge said.

Hubler said he would arrange a conference between the board and MoDOT officials to discuss the crosswind runway.

Jones told the board that the state has access to about $150,000 to cover the cost of relocating the beacon at the airport. The tower the beacon is currently on is too high for its distance from the runway.

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