Mid-Missouri airports improving runways

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MOBERLY - Wednesday marked the start for three different contractors to begin designing a new runway and lighting plan at the Omar Bradley Airport.

Its been 30 years since the crosswind runway has been repaved and the lighting redone.

The crosswind runway is the alternate landing spot for planes if there is traffic on the main runway. It is positioned at an angle that makes it easier for planes to land on a windy day rather than landing on the main runway.

Moberly received a federal grant from MoDOT Aviation for about $1.5 million dollars, with MoDOT paying for 90 percent of the reconstruction. The City of Moberly will pay for the remaining 10 percent.

The money will be used to buy LED lights and light fixtures to put along the runway, and to replace the asphalt with concrete.

"It's in really bad condition," said Tom Sanders, Director of Public Works.

He said the wear and tear of planes over a 30 year period is breaking up the asphalt and creating debris, which in turn damages the planes.

A Moberly pilot said debris can be a major issues when a runway is in disrepair.

"If you have two airplanes landing you have the opportunity for one prop to pick it up and throw it at the other airplane. At that point, you're talking about cracked windshields," said local pilot, Ron Richardson.

He also said the reconstruction and improvements will have positive effects on Moberly.

"It attracts bigger airplanes, it attracts more business," he said. "It's just more of an advantage for people to come here and use our facilities."

Like Moberly, Sedalia and Jefferson City received federal grant money to repair their airports. 

Its been 42 years since the Sedalia Regional Airport has reconstructed its runway. Contractors are currently working on tearing up and replacing it.

Construction started in late June and is projected to end in November. Sedalia Regional Airport received $160,550 dollars in grant money.

The Jefferson City Memorial Airport is in the very early stages of planning the reconstruction its main runway.

Reconstruction and implementation of new lighting will cost around $7 million dollars, said airport manager Ron Kraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will pay for 95 percent of the project, and the city will pay for 5 percent. Kraft said the runway and lighting reconstruction should be complete by summer 2015.

 

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