Runway Construction Most Likely Years Away
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
Over the past several years, the city of Chillicothe has purchased land necessary to accommodate
construction of a longer runway at Chillicothe Municipal Airport. In recent months, the city removed
trees and brush from the railroad right-of-way on newly-acquired land to provide
farmers, who are leasing portions of ground from the city, access to their crops.
The airport improvement program began in 2000 and includes building a 5,000-foot concrete runway.
When first started, the plan was considered a 20-year project, recalls Airport Manager Bill
Kieffer. And, as things have been progressing, it likely will be close to 20 years before the new runway is
built. In late 2015, the city acquired the last of seven properties necessary for the expansion. The
expansion involves turning the 3,700- foot northeast/southwest grass runway into a 5,000-foot
concrete runway. The improvement will allow corporate jets to take off and land at the airport.
The airport property now spans close to 400 acres. Although not all of it is used for the airport, the
space is controlled by the city.
C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley
"You have to protect the airspace on your
approaches," Kieffer said. The land adjacent to the runway can be farmed, but the city must retain ownership to protect the air space.
Although the land necessary for the expansion has been purchased, refurbishing the
airport's 3,900-foot northwest/southeast runway, which is constructed with concrete and an asphalt overlay, is first on
the project list.
The condition of this runway was negatively impacted by last
year's wet weather. "It was getting bad, but it got worse last year because of the wet
weather," Kieffer said. "Before we can do anything to the new runway, we must refurbish the existing
runway." The planning stage for refurbishing the runway is slated for this year with actual construction taking place in 2018.
"Federal money will not put in a new runway if the old runway is not up to
standards," Kieffer said. The rehabilitation project is expected to have an overall $3.3 million price tag.
"It's a big project," he said. Federal and state governments have funded 90 percent of the improvement costs related to
this project with the city funding 10 percent.
Meeting 10/12/15 - The council on Monday passed an ordinance authorizing the
mayor to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission
regarding a state block grant agreement for airport improvements, with the city paying the 10
percent local match under the agreement.
Property Secured for 5,000-foot Concrete Runway
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
September 29, 2015
Expanding a runway so that the Chillicothe Municipal Airport can accommodate corporate jets has
been a long journey, but the city is nearing the final pre-construction stages with the passage of
two ordinances Monday evening, September 28, 2015. One ordinance related to a state block grant
agreement and the other involved an airport consulting agreement with a master plan update
and airport layout plan. The airport improvement program includes constructing a 5,000-foot concrete
runway. This has been in the works since 2000, and the city just last month acquired the last of
seven properties necessary for the expansion.
On Monday, city council members authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Missouri
Highways and Transportation Commission in regard to a state block grant agreement for the airport
improvement program and all acts necessary to carry out the terms of the agreement. The portion of
the grant is for $40,384, with a local match of $4,487. The council also authorized the mayor to
enter into an agreement with H.W. Lochner, Inc., to provide professional
services in regard to an aviation project consultant agreement. The city has utilized this firm for many years.
"A little bit of history is being made," Mayor Chuck Haney said during the council meeting. The airport expansion
project has been 90 percent funded through the federal and state governments, with a 10 percent
local match. The airport-related issues were the main topics of discussion for the council during the
CITY COUNCIL MEETING EXCERPT 02/24/2014: Bill Kieffer of the Chillicothe Municipal Airport also appeared before the council. An ordinance was passed and approved authorizing the mayor to execute contracts between the city of Chillicothe and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission to amend the state block grant agreement. Work began last fall on a taxiway at the airport,
and the grant money will be placed under contract in order to finish the taxiway project.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING 01/30/2012 EXCERPT: Also during the
council's meeting last week, city officials approved a supplemental agreement with
H.W. Lochner, Inc. regarding additional land acquisition services for the expansion of the
city's airport runway. The project is funded mostly through federal and state grants and requires a 5 percent local match. The project has been in the
works for several years and is now in the process of land acquisition to build a 5,000-foot runway.
Council members approved the supplemental agreement by a 4-1 vote, with 4th Ward Councilwoman
Pam Jarding opposed to the measure.
MEETING 09/14/2009 EXCERPT: The Council passed an ordinance accepting the
Airport State Block Grant Amendment which allocates the city's 2007 ($150,000) and 2008
($150,000) federal non-primary entitlement funds and extends the project time period to complete
the project scopes currently in progress. The project involves expansion of a runway at the
municipal airport and the grant money is to be used for land acquisition, environmental assessment,
design for 2/20 runway extension, windcone, segmented circle, PAPI, and an electrical vault.
Runway Land Hoped to be Purchased
Wednesday, March 25, 2009, C-T
Plans are advancing for the expansion of Chillicothe Municipal Airport and the purchase of land is hoped to be made this year for construction of a new runway.
The proposed 2009-10 budget for the city of Chillicothe includes $7,500 to be set aside in capital improvements to be the 5 percent required local match for $150,000 in federal funds anticipated to be awarded to the city this year.
Plans to build a 5,000-foot northeast/southwest runway have been in the works since the 1990s and no date for actual construction has been identified. Despite not having actual construction completed, the project
"is definitely proceeding," according to City Administrator Dean Brookshier. An update of the airport work was provided to council members during a budget workshop on March 23, 2009, at City Hall.
The new runway would replace the existing grass runway at the airport. The land purchase would involve around 90 acres.