City Examines Eastside Airport Improvements

The Manhattan City Commission examined the need for infrastructure improvements for General Aviation operations on east side of Manhattan Regional airport, during Tuesday night’s work session.

The improvements center around the construction of a new General Aviation facility for Fixed Base Operations (FBO). The airport’s current FBO, Kansas Air Center, Inc., will privately fund the new facility; however the City will be responsible for developing the surrounding infrastructure including road access to the facility, parking, storm water drainage in the area, improvements to surrounding utilities and more.

The facility will be located on the airport’s new, 100,000 square foot concrete parking apron that was completed in 2012 on the east side of the airport. The apron was largely funded by the FAA.

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Financing

 Estimated costs include:

-$1.2 million for the infrastructure improvements supporting the new FBO facility.

-$750,000 for roadway and storm sewer improvements along Airport Road.

- $600,000 sanitary sewer improvements to the watermain and sanitary sewer at the terminal.

Should the City tackle the entire list of improvements, it would likely pay for them using Economic Development Infrastructure Funds, Water and Sanitary Sewer Funds, and Stormwater Funds.

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Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Wynn Butler believes that improving General Aviation at the airport is a must.

“There’s going to be a lot more flights in here in the future with NBAF coming in and all that, it’s just essential. Secondly, the design of that thing (FBO facility), Kansas Aviation that’s handling this, has got to be one of the big players especially if its gonna fund the building.”

Commissioner, Usha Reddi wants to make sure that local residents know what’s going on as various projects move forward.

“My concern is just to make sure the residents in the surrounding areas are well-informed, not only about the timeline, but noise or what sections might be developed on an ongoing basis, and to make sure to that they don’t have any kind of a financial burden on themselves either.”

Commissioner, Karen McCulloh likes the overall picture, but is concerned with how the City will pay for everything.

“We’re talkin’ six hundred thousand for this and a million-two for that, and how many dollars do we have in that Eco-Devo fund? And how many dollars are there in the Stormwater Management Fund?And what promises have we already made with the Stormwater Management Fund?”