Airport Expansion Taking Off

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An airport expansion project in southeast Indiana that has been in the works for 20 years is finally moving forward. The $12 million plan calls for building a new 5,000-foot runway adjacent to the current Salem Municipal Airport. The project recently received a $3.5 million funding boost from the Federal Aviation Administration. Butler, Fairman & Seufert Inc. Airport Planner Corey Harper, who is the airport board's consulting engineer, says construction could get underway this fall. More information on the project from the city of Salem can be found by clicking here.

In August, the Salem Board of Aviation Commissioners began accepting bids for the project. Harper tells Inside INdiana Business five bids were placed, with two proposals leading the way.

He says some state-level permits still need to be approved and some additional rock excavation testing must be undertaken.

Some earth moving and drainage work could begin within the next couple of months.

August 7, 2013

Press Release

SALEM, Ind. - Salem Board of Aviation Commissioners announced that it is advertising for bids for the Phase I construction of Runway 8-26 of its Runway Expansion Project. Bids will be received at the Board's public meeting on August 27, 2013. An advertisement will appear in today's paper.

The project covers two major components. Land acquisition and Runway 8-26 grade and drain construction of the initial 3,000’ of Runway, Taxiway, Apron & Auto Parking Area. These initial steps will assist the airport in moving one step closer to opening the new runway and closing the existing runway 10-28 .

The land acquisition portion of the project consists of purchasing remaining 2 parcels of land necessary to begin construction of the initial 3,000' runway. This phase is much less invasive that what was previously submitted as a property acquisition schedule. The new project approach minimizes the land acquisition in a realistic and achievable timeline to allow for the acceleration of the construction all the while minimizing the impact to the local property owners and significantly reducing the overall cost of the project.

Under the construction portion of the project, the initial 3,000 foot runway 8-26 will be constructed to grade and drain conditions only. This will include the installation of drainage structures and a significant amount of grading efforts for the construction 3,000’ runway, parallel taxiway apron and auto parking. The grade and drain project is being broken into multiple pieces to maximize the level of grant funding available.

Corey Harper an Airport Planner with Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc., the Board’s consulting engineer, informed the Board at its last meeting that the FAA had requested that the Board advance its submission deadlines for grant application, construction drawings and land acquisition by 30 days. Harper also informed the Board that the FAA indicated that additional FAA funding may be available to the Board in this fiscal year, if all necessary requirements were met. The Board, at its last meeting, approved a grant application to the FAA for an amount up to $ 1.9 million dollars in additional funding. The final amount of the grant will not be known until FAA approval has been achieved.

On the local project, the FAA supplies 90 percent of the funding. 2.5 percent is provided by the State of Indiana and 7.5 percent is provided through local match. Pat Persinger, Salem Clerk-Treasurer, advised the Board that adequate local match funds are on hand and available to match the FAA grant if it is approved. Ronnie Floyd, President of the Board, stated that this is wonderful news. Harper has really been working hard for the Board and the community to move this project forward. It has been on the books so long and we are really pleased with the progress.

Bob Woodward, Board member and Washington County Treasurer, extended the Board’s sincere appreciation to the Washington County Council for their financial assistance to the Board over the last three (3) years in allocating a portion of Economic Development Income Tax dollars to the airport project. This has really made a difference, said Woodward. Without their assistance, this new FAA grant would not be possible.

Salem Mayor, David Bower, when informed of the FAA grant prospects, commented “I am pleased with the progress the Board and Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. are making towards completion of the new runway. The airport already provides significant economic benefit to the community, but the new runway will enhance Salem’s attractiveness to new business. I expect the airport to become an economic engine for the future”.

Members of the Board of Aviation Commissioners are Ronnie Floyd, President; Jason Cockerill, Secretary; Bob Woodward, Danny Habermel and Marc Dewees. Lowell Deploy serves as airport Manager and John Mead serves as Legal counsel. For additional information, contact Corey Harper with Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. at (317) 281-7555, any Board member or its attorney.

Source: Salem Board of Aviation Commissioners