Thursday, April 07, 2016

Enterprise Municipal Airport (KEDN) rehab project on target

The rehabilitation project at the Enterprise Municipal Airport is about 80 percent complete. “We’re right on schedule,” Enterprise Director of Engineering Michael Walters told those attending the city council work session March 29.

The airport repair and rehabilitation project began nearly two years ago with hangar inspections to determine repairs needed and solicitation of hangar tenant input.

Among the issues addressed were leaking roofs, door tracks full of sod and gravel and concern that the uplift of the wind would raise the hangar doors on the older hangars.

The “A” Hangars and corporate hangar were the first to be tackled. The “B” Hangars were completed by the end of 2015. The “F” Hangars are the last to be redone and are being finished up now, Walters said.

Michael Cole, an engineer with Barge, Waggner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc. is project manager for the $1.309 million rehabilitation that got physically underway in September 2015 with a public meeting of city officials and airport hangar tenants. “This has made a huge difference,” Cole told The Southeast Sun earlier. “The project is on track and on budget.”

Walters said rehabilitation plans for the two-fold project included improvements to the existing T-hangars, commercial hangars and taxiways, began at the maintenance hangars first.

Each of the hangars have been “reskinned” and repainted a mustard yellow color. All the hangar roofs have been resealed and painted white. LED lights have been installed both inside and outside of the hangars. The electricity has been brought up to code and the bottom door wheels have been replaced with steel bearing wheels.

Next, the asphalt on the taxiway will be recoated with a 1/8-inch seal and restriped, Walters said. “That will give 10 years more life to it.”

The project is a win-win situation, Cole said at a previous meeting. “The city is reinvesting the revenue they receive from the tenants’ rent back into the renovations of the airport.”

The airport currently has 50 tenant aircraft owners. There are at least 50 more on a waiting list, said Walters.

“We wanted to make this the least invasive process that we possibly could,” Cole said. “At the end of the day, the city did this project for the pilots.”

Cole had high praise for the “team attitude” of the tenant-pilots affected by the project.

“They have seen this project as a ‘plus’ and have had a team attitude to help us get it done.”

The hangar tenants were notified one month in advance of their hangar’s rehab and asked to empty their hangars completely.

The city made space available on the ramp, with new tie down ropes, to house the displaced aircraft, Walters said, adding that there was no charge for the ramp use and rent was waived for the duration tenants were out of their hangars.

Currently rent from the hangars generates about $140,000 a year and the rent increase in January is expected to add another $13,000 annually. “The city of Enterprise is reinvesting the rent money to put it back into the hangar rehabilitation,” Cole said. “We work all over the Southeast and the Enterprise Airport is without a doubt one of the nicest airports we work with.”

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