City discusses needed airport improvements

In order for the city of Aberdeen to get improvement grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the airport needs to be improved because the current runway doesn’t meet standards, according to Dave Mitchell, of T.O. Engineers.

T.O. Engineers has done an environmental assessment (EA) for the airport and that was completed in 2012. Things have changed a little since the assessment was completed because the airport now has an agriculture spray plane AT802 and that plane needs more runway to take off at full capacity.

The EA was done with the maximum quality airport in mind, but not everything that was done in the EA is required to get the airport up to standards. The maximum quality airport has a 5250 foot runway, an equal length taxiway to it’s side, safety zones on each end of the runway and no buildings or homes on each end of the runway. Aberdeen is not required to do all of that, Mitchell said. The EA came up with the maximum so that if Aberdeen wants to do more upgrading in the future they don’t need to have another EA done as long as the city is working toward improvements. If they aren’t working towards improvements after three years from now, they will need to get another EA done. The EA also studied the environmental issues, like noise and emissions.

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