Le Mars, Iowa, wants public's take on municipal airport improvements

2013-02-17T10:45:00Z 2013-08-22T18:01:54Z Le Mars, Iowa, wants public's take on municipal airport improvementsALLY KARSYN akarsyn@siouxcityjournal.com Sioux City Journal
February 17, 2013 10:45 am  • 

LE MARS, Iowa | The city of Le Mars is conducting a survey to determine a 20-year development plan for its municipal airport, and frequent fliers are encouraged to reply.

The airport user survey is part of a master planning process, said City Administrator Scott Langel. The city is seeking federal assistance to pay for the improvement project through the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Capital Improvement Program.

“As far as improvements at the airport, at this point in time, it’s a little uncertain,” he said.

However, airport manager Earl Draayer has a few possible improvements in mind for the airport, which included resurfacing the ramp area, adding 400 feet of displaced threshold to the runway and building two new hangars, one for storing light-sport aircraft and a larger one for corporate jet aircraft.

Currently, Le Mars Municipal Airport has a runway that’s 4,605 feet long, 19 based aircraft and more than 10,000 annual operations.

The city will evaluate enhancements based on responses from airport users. Projected costs for the project were not immediately available last week.

“We would like input from the public so that things we may not have thought of come to light,” Draayer said. “We are open to suggestions.”

He added that the city would also like to hear from local industries about their needs and desires for expansion, since private and corporate aircraft use the city-owned facility.

The airport is also seeking solutions for erosion problems along the banks of the Floyd River, due west of the airstrip.

“During flood periods, the river is starting to encroach into what we call the safe zone,” Draayer said.

The survey will be available online through Feb. 27.

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