Airport expansion on the radar in Greensburg

Greensburg, — Officials in Greensburg are presenting the results of an environmental assessment of the proposed expansion of the Greensburg Municipal Airport. The meeting will be held Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. in Greensburg city hall. The assessment has taken 10 years to produce.

Based on the assessment results, FAA input and public comment right-of-way acquisition could begin later this year.

The expansion will increase the overall size of the airport from 32 acres to about 185 acres and add a new, longer runway at a different angle. The new runway will be 5,400 feet in length while the existing runway is 3,400 feet long.

The project will open the airport up to larger, regional aircraft and better serve local industry. Officials indicate an improved airport will also create an important economic development tool to entice area companies to expand and possibly draw other industry to Greensburg.

Airport board president Bill Ernestes says the estimated cost of the project is $10 million. He says the federal government will pay 95 percent of the cost, state government five percent and the remaining five percent by the airport and/or the city. He stressed that every effort will be made by the board of aviation commissioners to minimize the burden to taxpayers. He says over the last ten years the self-funded airport has saved city and county government about $200,000.

If the project receives final approval from the FAA city officials will have three years to begin construction. Long-term plans could include a new taxi-way and a new terminal building.