Additional funding found for new airport
July 1, 2013
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  • Recent federal match for next years construction found.

    Along with updates on the process at both the old and new Conway airports, Mayor Tab Townsell and city staff announced a 90 percent federal match for next year’s construction program at the new airport during Monday night’s committee meeting.

    “The FAA does not pay for things other than runway paving, lining, purchase of the land, the fencing,” said City Engineer Ronnie Hall. “But the buildings they will not pay for, nor the operational items.”

    Next year’s project is estimated to cost $7 million, and Hall said the city got news Monday of a $6.5 million federal matching grant for the work.

    “It looks like it will come to pass that we can open in 2014 if it doesn’t rain too much and the creek don’t rise,” he said.

    The city already has a bid in hand for the terminal at the new airport, but Mayor Tab Townsell said they are holding it until at least July 12 when they will consider the redevelopment proposals for the old airport land. The money from the sale of the old airport will go directly to land improvements at the new airport.

    “(The terminal bid) is a little bit higher than we expected, but it’s lower than what we initially started with,” Townsell said.

    The paving of the runway at the new airport will be finished this week, Hall said, and then paving will continue with the taxiway and the terminal apron. Next year the remaining taxiway and corporate apron and the private hanger apron will be completed.

    Bill Hegeman, chairman of the City of Conway Airport Advisory Committee, said the committee is excited about progress that has already been made. The runway is 5,500 feet and “seems to go forever,” Hegeman said, and the only problem they have now is they would like to be able to add 500 more feet to the runway.

    Hegeman also said the committee has received a lot of positive interest when it comes to corporate hangers.

    “I think we have one corporate hanger at the existing airport,” he said. “We’ve had nine people who want to build their own hangers at the new airport.”

    With more hangers comes more fuel sales, and both Hegeman and Townsell highlighted the income potential those sales could bring.

    “The more corporate planes they have out there the more fuel they buy, and the more fuel they buy the more income we have,” Hegeman said. “So that’s a really exciting thing for us.”