Hays airport plans for future
By DAWNE LEIKER
With the goal of seeing several significant Hays Regional Airport projects accomplished, the city of Hays submitted a report of proposed plans to the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month.
The proposed projects stretching from 2013 to 2020 total $8 million in requests for FAA annual entitlement funds.
"This is our list of what we think is important for the coming years, so (FAA officials) can think about it," said City of Hays Public Works Director I.D. Creech. "They'll make comments back to us whether they think these things would work.
"If it comes to fruition that they think this is a project that would qualify, it would go to the governing body for more information. ... Right now, it's preliminary."
A $2 million expansion and renovation of the airport's terminal building is requested for the next couple of years, with the design phase in 2013 and construction in 2014.
The terminal, built in 1991, has not received significant updates since its construction, according to the proposed capital plan.
"We think the terminal building needs a little bit of an upgrade," Creech said. "It's been awhile.
"But it's conditioned on approval by FAA, so that's where we start that discussion."
The project includes replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, and utility room code upgrades.
Additionally, the airport would like to make Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades to existing restrooms, add restrooms to secured gate area and reconfigure the security screening queueing and secured gate areas.
Also in the works for 2013 is purchase of a snow blower. Pending FAA funds for the snow blower total $130,500, which would be supplemented with city of Hays fleet reserve funds of $14,500.
Other projects proposed to the FAA:
* 2015 -- Rehabilitate apron and runway 4-22
* 2016 -- Install wildlife fence
* 2017 -- Rehabilitate taxiway I and parking lot, and replace loader
* 2018 -- Design phase of parallel taxiway 4-22 construction
* 2019 -- Construction phase of parallel taxiway 4-22
* 2020 -- Extend runway length from 6,500 to 6,900 feet
Reconstruction of HRA's main runway, originally slated for 2012, will begin this spring. The delay was due to a holdup in the grant approval process by the FAA. The FAA will provide 90 percent of the $6.8 million cost of the project.
Passenger boardings for 2012 are "running close" to the 10,000 mark necessary to qualify the airport for up to $1 million in federal funding for airport improvements, according to Creech. Final tallies will be available after Jan. 1.
In 2011, passenger boardings hit 10,912, the best passenger year to date for HRA. That number was up 17.3 percent from 2010.