Fulton council hears update on airport plan

For the past two years, the city and the airport advisory board have been working with H. W. Lochner in Kansas City to develop a master plan for the Elton Hensley Memorial Airport.

Although that plan still is being reviewed by the state, airport designer Mike Waller with H. W. Lochner presented that plan to the Fulton City Council Tuesday night.

Describing Hensley as one of 35 business airports in Missouri, Waller said Fulton’s airport sees an average of 12,400 annual take-offs and landings (operations) per year — 6,900 of them local — houses 49 base aircraft and sells approximately 19,000 gallons of aviation fuel annually. He said he believes those numbers will only grow with time.

“At the end of 2031, we predict there will be 86 aircraft based at the airport and about 24,000 operations a year,” Waller said. “That’s a 3 to 3 1/2 percent annual growth rate.”

As for the airport layout, Waller said there are several major improvement projects included in the 20-year plan.

Among those projects are taxiway development for two of the airport’s runways, apron expansion, a parallel taxiway, new hangars — three 10-unit hangars and one 12-unit hangar— and renovation of the terminal.

“You need your facilities to be able to accommodate demand,” Waller said, noting those improvements would be spread out in phases. “Over the next five years, in a perfect world there would be $1.2 million in improvements provided locally and $5.6 million in federal and state support.”

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