Plymouth Airport Manager Dave Lattimer presented the Marshall County Commissioners with the board’s comprehensive plan this week.
One of the projects that the board is anticipating is the widening of the runway, which Lattimer says is set to begin in the next several months.
“That involves widening our runway from 60 feet to 75 feet and rebuilding 4,400 feet of pavement,” Lattimer explained. “The next phase is to lengthen the runway. The magic number for an airport our size is 75 feet wide and 5,000 feet long.”
Lattimer noted that a representative from the FAA in Chicago believes that funding could be available to lengthen the runway. Lilac Road would need to be closed if that project can happen. Lattimer suggested that the 7th Road project could allow residents living northeast of the airport another route to get out of town. They may be for susceptible to the project. He said they are several years from getting to that point. No other property will need to be purchased for the runway extension.
He said the runway extension is crucial as the airport is losing business. Many insurance companies will not allow certain aircraft to land at an airport with a runway that is less than 5,000 feet in length.
Lattimer also said the City of Plymouth has put a lot of money into improvements at the airport.
“The City of Plymouth has spent a considerable amount of money in the last five years fixing and repairing buildings. We’ve re-roofed and re-sided four out of five of the major buildings out there. These are buildings that were built in the late 1960s – the original buildings. Not one building has been added all these years. We have money in our airport budget this year to do the fifth building.”
The board also continues to work on getting a weather station, but funding is getting tougher for that purchase. A project is going on now to prepare to place a weather station at the location.