By Bill Robinson
The $2 million appropriation in the new state budget for Eastern Kentucky University to build its own hangar at the Madison Airport has spurred the airport board to move ahead with other improvements plans.
The university operates the flight portion of its baccalaureate aviation program at the airport.
The airport board will continue discussion of its recently received improvement plan in a called work session 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Madison County Extension Office, 230 Duncannon Lane.
The plan was prepared by the board’s consultant, The Corradino Group.
The board’s immediate priority is to approve plans and seek nearly $1 million in funding to expand the airport’s apron, or parking area for aircraft, as will as expand and improve parking for automobiles, said Dr. Wilma Walker, its chair.
Typically, the federal government contributes up to 90 percent of funds needed for local airport improvement, according to the consultant, with the remainder coming from state and local sources. Madison County’s three local governments jointly own the airport and appoint members to its board.
The consultant is optimistic the Federal Aviation Administration will approve $750,000 for the estimated $928,000 project, with the state likely to contribute $69,600 and $23,200 expected from the three local governments.
The local governments now contribute a total of $75,000 yearly to the airport, the proposal states.
The consultant suggests the remaining $85,800 needed for the project be borrowed and then paid off with the next round of federal funding.
If a funding plan can be assured, the board could advertise for bids on the project by mid-year, Walker said.
Additional phases of the improvement plan envision a new commercial hangar, 11 T-hangars, each housing one plane; a new terminal building, additional terminal parking and then another 11 T-hangars.