Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Council discusses plan for Roanoke Municipal Airport (7A5)

The Roanoke City Council held a workshop prior to its regular meeting Monday to discuss the Roanoke Municipal Airport.

Mayor Mike Fisher returned after missing several meetings to deal with health issues.

Jennifer Hunt Harp and Ryan Reed of Garver Engineers gave a presentation along with Frank Farmer and John C. Eagerton IV of the Aeronautics Bureau of the Alabama Department of Transportation. Eagerton is chief of the Aeronautics Bureau and Farmer is aeronautics manager. Harp is project manager.

Garver Engineers works with the city on improvements and updates to the airport.

Reed said a report talks about the current role for small aircraft and how the area can be spruced up and updated--some things are too close to the runway. There is a 10-step approach to development, which will probably take more than ten years. They were there to discuss the first year. The airport is partially federally subsidized and has $600,000 available.

Harp said they are trying to improve safety of the airport and encouraging growth with things such as selling fuel. The airport is constrained on four sides by property. In the future they would like to acquire some of the land and relocate the road so they could extend the runway.

Reed said the small building--a hospitality area for incoming pilots--needs to be moved several yards down the road.

Councilwoman Tammi T. Holley asked if it would take all the accrued $600,000 and was told it would cost an estimated $635,000. Reed said there would be a local match from the city of about $32,000. He added this is the first step in a multi-year project--with a long-term approach. There would continue to be a charge for use of the hangars.

City clerk Pat Truitt said they had gotten estimates for putting a heli-place (formerly called a heli-pad) there. Harp said they would like to incorporate the heli-place into the design.

Councilman Mack Arthur Bell asked if larger airplanes could land and Reed said no because of the adjacent property.

Eagerton said they were there to meet with the council to have a brief discussion about what council members envision the airport to be. He asked if the council ever envisions buying the property at the end of the runways to extend the runway and what does the council see as the airport's role--using it as a help to economic development? He said there are not a lot of airports in the vicinity of Roanoke's airport.

Original article ➤

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