Monday, November 26, 2018

City to study Marshalltown Municipal Airport (KMIW) hangar costs

Doug Boyd of Marshalltown, Iowa, is shown during his approach to landing at the Marshalltown Municipal Airport in the plane he built, a Waiex. He has been flying the “YX” for more than five years and uses it for personal travel. Boyd and other pilots are following with interest a plan proposing to build larger hangars followed by other improvements at the airport.

A new and larger airplane hangar may be in the offing at the Marshalltown Municipal Airport.

Local economic development officials, businesses and other community stakeholders have been promoting for several years construction of a larger hangar as an economic development tool. They say it will make Marshalltown more competitive when businesses decide to expand or relocate.

Without construction of a larger hangar space, it is currently impossible to store larger aircraft that come to the airport inside and protected from the weather, Marshalltown Public Works Director Justin Nickel said. As a result, they are forced to relocate to another airport, even though their business is in Marshalltown.

However, before the first shovel of dirt is turned on such a project, city councilors must study a cost estimate and then determine potential Federal Aviation Administration funding and required local match.

Consequently, councilors took the first step at the Nov. 12 meeting by giving Nickel approval to prepare a cost estimate.

“A number of design steps will be required before it is submitted to the council,” Nickel said. “I expect council will make a thorough review of the estimate and have follow-up questions.”

In a memo earlier this month to the council, Nickel wrote: “The construction of at least a 75′ x 75′ hangar would allow more aircraft to be stored than can currently be stored with the existing buildings. The proposed hangar building would be built with a larger clear door height to allow aircraft with larger tail heights to be stored in the building, that aren’t able to be stored in the existing buildings.”

“Recently surrounding airports have constructed large hangars as desired by the Marshalltown Municipal Airport. The Grinnell Regional Airport is currently constructing a 100′ x 100′ hangar with a 90′ clear door width. The Ames Municipal Airport recently constructed a 120′ x 95′ hanger with an 80′ clear door width. The Newton Municipal Airport constructed a 120′ x 100′ hangar with a 96′ clear door opening and a terminal building.”

The city owns airport land while Marshalltown Aviation Inc. manages airport operations.

Over the years the two entities have enjoyed a productive relationship, which has seen numerous improvements made to the airport.

Steven Valbracht, manager, told the Times-Republican new instrument approaches to both sides of the airport’s primary runway installed several years have paid huge dividends locally.

“The new approaches take advantage of newer GPS technology allowing pilots to navigate to the runway while also giving the pilot a vertical path to follow,” he said. “These approaches lower the height to which an aircraft can fly without first seeing the ground. Also, by providing an instrument-guided path on which to descend, the aircraft are in a better position to see the runway during poor weather.”

Valbracht was thrilled to describe the new equipment.

“It is great,” he said. “The instrument approaches are something we have enjoyed at larger airports over the years and now is available in Marshalltown.”

Aircraft affiliated with area businesses and industry are taking advantage of the new equipment, as are other pilots.

Valbracht said a number of central Iowa companies rely on the airport and the new GPS equipment is an economic development tool which makes the area attractive to expansion or new business and industry.

Original article ➤

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