FAA Reimburses City for Airport Expansion
January 28, 2014
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  • The Frederick Municipal Airport runway extension project will keep moving forward with further reimbursements from the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The city of Frederick spent $13.65 million to buy properties near the planned expansion, with the understanding that the FAA would reimburse the costs. Airport manager Chris Lawler said the FAA has reimbursed everything apart from the Bowman Farm property.

    “We received everything we have invoices for. We’re not getting any money back for Bowman Farm,” Lawler said.

    While he did not have exact figures with him at an airport commission meeting Thursday to discuss the project and other items, he estimated that the city would be left on the hook for a few million dollars for the property.

    Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the city, noted that the property could be developed for other purposes or sold.

    “It’s not as though there’s no value to it,” he said.

    Frederick plans to lengthen the runway so larger aircraft can use it, in the hopes that doing so will attract more businesses to the airport area.

    It would also allow for aircraft to take off with full fuel tanks to travel farther, which officials have said could boost fuel sales.

    The airport has also enlisted Delta as the project’s on-call engineering consultant to oversee construction.

    Campbell and Paris held that job for about a decade, but Lawler said he thought Delta would be able to provide better service.

    “Delta came in and looked to me like they were forward moving,” he said, noting that Campbell and Paris was one of the finalists on the bid.

    The contract is still in negotiations, Lawler said, so it is not clear yet how much Delta will be awarded.

    Demolition of obstructions on Bailes Lane will begin in earnest in fall 2015. The demolition is estimated to cost $8 million, according to Lawler, so it will take place in stages, to spread costs over time.

    The airport usually receives $5 million annually from the FAA, so the sites will be demolished with several $2 million projects.