TxDOT approves airport grant
by VIC PARKER, Editor
Sep 16, 2017 | 1338 views | 0 0 comments | 200 200 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Plans for improvements to Gilmer’s Fox Stephens Field took a big step forward late last month when the Texas Department of Trasportation approved a $220,000 grant.

Funds from the 90-10 match will be used for planned airport improvements, which include preparation of an airport master plan and a flight obstruction survey. Funding the city’s 10 percent will be hangar fees.

Gilmer City Manager Greg Hutson said Tuesday the flight obstruction survey will begin soon and continue into 2018, with efforts at a master plan beginning early next year.

“The survey will check everything around the airport,” Hutson said, “trees, power lines, everything connected to the airport.”

Hutson added that the master plan also will be all-inclusive and a plan for 20 years.

“The master plan will deal with hangars and the length of the runway and give us some guidance,” he said. “We want the airport to be everything it can be.”

Following an engineering and design study next year, a $65,000 grant will be used for rehabilitation and repaving the runway in 2019. That effort will include aprons and taxiways with an ultimate goal of extending the runway to 5,000 feet from its current 4,000 feet.

“That’s a game-changer,” Hutson said of extending the runway. “That allows for corporate jets to land.”

That effort also will be funded by a 90-10 match between the city and TxDOT’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program.
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