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"Kansas airport secures funding for airspace protection"
- From: "Stephen Irwin, M.S., A.A.E., I.A.P." <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 23:23:57 -0700
- Organization: www.californiaaviation.org/irwin.html
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Airport secures funding for airspace protection
By Michael Pommier
The Fort Scott (KS) Herald-Tribune
FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- Fort Scott Municipal Airport has been awarded funding
through the Kansas Department of Transportation to protect the airspace for
aircraft use to take off and land.
The department will put $34,675 toward creation of the ordinance, while the
city would chip in about $2,000. The ordinance would protect the airport's
entry and exit paths -- its approaches.
Fort Scott was one of 27 public use airports in the state -- including
Pittsburg and Parsons -- to receive funding through the Kansas Airport
Improvement Program. Part of the ordinance would include regulation of the
maximum height of structures up to as many as 10 miles off either end of the
runway, Fort Scott Municipal Airport Manager Kenny Howard said.
Funds would go toward paying a consulting firm to evaluate the area, survey
property near the airport and determine proper regulations.
He said the consulting firm will also help with the legal documentation of
the ordinance. Howard said a committee will also likely be formed to assist
in the process. In addition, he said there could also be a town-hall meeting
with the consulting firm and the FAA to inform property owners of what is
being discussed. He added the process could take about two years to
Although airspace protection is not required by the Federal Aviation
Administration, Howard said it makes the airport more appealing for future
"The FAA doesn't care if we have one," Howard said. "They will like that
airport a whole lot more."
Howard said the city does not want to take control of property owners, the
plan is just to protect the already existing path for aircraft entry and
exit. According to Howard, many airports in western Kansas have passed
similar codes to protect the area around their airports from the
construction of wind turbines that could impede an aircraft's path to and
from the airport.
Howard said the Fort Scott Municipal Airport has seen more than 26,950
planes use the airport in the last 10 years. During peak times, the airport
sees an average of 50 planes per week and 1,000 jet operations per year. He
said that with several local companies, such as Mercy Health Center,
Carlisle, Ward-Kraft, Family Video and Goody's bringing in jets, the airport
has quite an economic impact on the area.
"I don't think people realize what an economic impact we have with an
airport," Howard said.
"Last year, we released a study that showed Kansas airports support more
than 47,000 jobs, generate $2.3 billion in payroll and produce $10.4 billion
in on-airport economic activity," Ed Young, KDOT Director of Aviation, said
in a statement. "With that kind of impact, it's not only important to
maintain our aviation infrastructure, but to ensure that our investments
match the needs of our system plan."
The 2012 Kansas Airport Improvement Program has chosen 30 projects
throughout Kansas for funding that will address maintenance, runway,
facility and equipment needs to enhance safety and service. KDOT will
contribute $3.54 million in funding for the projects made possible by
T-WORKS, the transportation program passed by the Kansas Legislature last
Fort Scott Municipal Airport
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