The Airport Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at 12 p.m. at the City Hall Commission Meeting Room, 123 S. Main Street, Fort Scott, Kansas. This meeting is open to the public.
Fort Scott Airport is in the design stage of expanding its runway.
The FS Airport Advisory Board met Jan. 24 for an update from Kenny Howard, the airport manager.
“We signed a contract for the design of the (runway expansion) project,” Howard told the board. “That part of the project should be done in April.”
The runway expansion designer is Olsson Associates, Lincoln, Nebraska.
“It will be paid for by the city and private donations,” Howard told fortscott.biz.
The design plan will estimate the cost of the runway expansion project, he said.
Once the cost is projected, grants will be sought to fund the expansion project, Howard said.
The current length of the airport runway is 4,400 feet, the proposed runway expansion would increase that to 6,150 feet, according to Howard.
In addition, the city has applied for a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to rehabilitate the runway lights, Howard said. The estimated cost of that project is $290,000.
Howard said approximately 600 aircraft took off and landed at the facility last year.
Pilots file and cancel their flights using their cell phones, he said.
Most air traffic at the facility is between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
A property owner near the airport, Kenneth Merriman, told the board “the noise decibel is pretty bad over my house.”
Merriman lives one mile south of the airport.
Howard said a noise analysis done on the airport shows the noise is staying on the airport property.
“People that have concerns can come out and talk to me,” Howard told Merriman. He said 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the best time to reach him at the airport.
A full-service aircraft repair station will soon be available at Fort Scott Municipal Airport, 1869 Indian Road, southwest of the city.
Spectra Jet, Inc., Springfield, Ohio, will start a maintenance facility at the airport in the next two months, according to Kenny Howard, the airport manager.
“They will start with four to five employees,” Howard said. “They hope to be up to 10 employees in a certain amount of time.”
The company will lease part of a hangar at the airport for their business until they can build one of their own, Howard said.
Currently, there are eight hangars at the airport, two privately owned and six owned by the City of Fort Scott.
The desired outcome of this new business is to bring more airplanes to the airport, Howard said.
Currently, there are 45 airplanes in a week, he said.
“Some come to town to look at the community,” Howard said. “Some have family here.”
In addition, Fort Scott Airport is a good refueling stop for those traveling cross-county, he said.
If you saw a bi-plane doing loops on Thursday, you were witnessing an innovative way of raising funds for Airport Day. Several individuals paid for a ride with Kelly Pietrowicz in her aerobatics plane Thursday evening and funds were used to help sponsor Airport Day.
Kelly’s plane is a Pitts Special–a two seater bi-wing plane. Riders were given some instruction in what to expect and how to keep from blacking out. They had to empty their pockets to make sure nothing would fall out that might get stuck under any of the controls and were strapped into the front seat of the plane with a parachute attached to their backs.
The rides lasted about 20 minutes and included inverted flight, loops, rolls and stalls.
David Sachau was one of the riders. He said the ride a lot of fun and it wasn’t as hard on the stomach as he thought it might be. However, David earned his pilots license when he was 17, so he might not exactly represent the experience of an “average” person.