Major improvements for a Southeast Kansas airport are officially underway.
Between 27 private and business aircrafts, and 6 permanently based corporate jets... The Atkinson Municipal Airport is a small but bustling place.
"They'll routinely fly in and out multiple times a week, in fact even multiple times a day,” says Cameron Alden, Pittsburg Public Works Director.
And after nearly five years of planning and weeks of construction, two new infrastructure projects are nearly finished.
"It feels real good because there's a lot of work and time that goes into preparing for all of this,” says Bill Pyle, Atikinson Municipal Airport manager.
One includes a partial-parallel taxiway project, which connects two turnarounds on the runway and will help prevent collisions.
"When we have a landing or departing aircraft, it's just for safety to be able to get off the main runway,” says Bill Pyle.
KDOT granted $350 thousand dollars for that, leaving the city with just about $103 thousand dollars in expenses. The second is a sealcoating and remarking project. $325 thousand dollars from the FAA, and $36 thousand from the city will pay for the application of a protective coating to the crosswind runway.
"That will just preserve the asphalt runway. Hopefully we can get another 10 years out of that before we have to do any maintenance to it,” says Pyle.
Weather permitting, both projects will be done by the end of november or sooner. Then it's onto planning the next round of additions.
"Over the 3 years we've got about $3.2 million dollars worth of improvements into it and now we're ready to catch our breath just a little bit and dive back in,” says Cameron Alden.