Airport Commission Expected to Retain Engineering Firm

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Published on October 1 2013 5:48 pm
Last Updated on October 1 2013 5:55 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Airport Commission is expected to retain Hanson and Associates as its consulting firm on improvement projects.

Commission Chairman Tony Siemer explained that every five years, the Commission is required to secure an engineering firm to serve as their consulting firm.  Letters were sent to five firms and Hanson was the sole firm to respond.  Siemer said a committee consisting of County Board Chairman Jim Niemann, County Engineer Greg Koester, Siemer and Commission member Phil Toops had no objections to retaining Hanson and will make that recommendation to the full Commission at Wednesday's meeting.

The firm is paid by the County for project work and then the County receives 95% reimbursement from state and federal funds.

One project Hanson and the Commission is considering is an extension of the east-west runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000 feet.  The additional length would better accommodate the Heartland Dental corporate aircraft housed there.  Another firm needing a longer runway also uses the local airport and with Heartland expects to seek State and Federal approval of the runway extension project.

Another project being considered is the locating of a med vac operation on the airport grounds.  There are two such operations in Effingham County.

Siemer said the Commission recently completed tree clearing on the south end of the north-south runway approaches and tree trimming on the north end.  The Commission is also looking at installing a GPS landing system to replace the aging localizer system at the airport.