Indiana’s Jasper County Airport Authority has hired strategic consulting firm Woolpert under a master services agreement to develop a master plan to guide its development that could see the addition of a second, longer runway. The airport has been without a master plan since 2006 and FAA requirements have changed so that any development project funding, even for smaller airports, now requires one.
The general aviation airport has a 4,000-foot-long, 60-foot-wide main runway that stretches north to south and, according to airport manager Ray Seif, the authority is looking for justification to add another runway. “The thing that is driving the master plan is our need to substantiate a larger runway that is more aligned with prevailing winds in the area, which is typically east-west in direction,” Seif told AIN, adding that the current runway is limited as to what aircraft it can accommodate. “Citations are about as large as can come in here, and they can only come when the runway is clean and dry. If there is any rain or any other contaminant on the runway, they have to divert and go somewhere else.”
According to Seif, the new runway would be at least 5,000 feet long and 75 feet wide. He further noted that the airport authority has already acquired most of the land required for its construction, which if approved would largely be covered by federal and state grants.
The creation of the master plan, including all required steps and environmental reviews, is expected to take up to two years. Once the plan is reviewed, the airport would then be ranked in terms of need and be placed on the list for the allocation of FAA AIP funding.