Airport: $1.78M Boyne to get 90% funding if state OK’s

boyne city airport WEBBenjamin Gohs

News Editor

The state must now decide the fate of Boyne City’s $1.78 million airport improvement plan, which calls for numerous infrastructure upgrades between now and 2020.

The Boyne City Commission unanimously approved the Boyne City Municipal Airport Capital Improvement Plan during the commission’s Tuesday June 10 meeting.
“What they have done is, at no cost to the city, they’ve put together the plan that is before you today,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain, who is also the acting manager of the Boyne City Municipal Airport. “Basically this helps the city and airport get in line for (state) funding, basically on a 90/10 match—where the (state) provide(s) 90 percent of it and we provide 10 of it—for eligible types of projects. And, to get on that list, you have to start and submit a plan.”
He added, “It (the plan) outlines various items in there. It doesn’t require that the city do any of them. But, by submitting this paperwork to the state, it … makes us eligible for funding should we decide to go forward.”
Mike Borta of QoE Consulting, the firm which has been working with the Boyne City Municipal Airport Board over the last few months to come up with the plan, gave commissioners an overview of the airport’s capital improvement.
“If you submit this program to the state then it puts you in line for the state funding … but you’re not committed to the local share for receiving the state funding until such a time the state says ‘Well, City of Boyne City, we’re going to offer you X number of dollars to do this project.’ At that point you’re going to have to decide,” Borta said.
Boyne City’s current layout plan is at least seven years old and, according to Borta, now is the time to review that layout and ensure it meets all FAA standards.
“That would lead into potentially some land acquisition,” Borta said… “It is right-of-flight easements. It’s primarily in the west approach because there are a number of trees that are creating a displaced landing threshold—so something needs to be looked at as to what extent are those trees potential obstructions.”
He added, “That leads into, then, a couple of construction projects that would be east-west parallel taxiway, done in two phases. And, it’s primarily a safety issue. It eliminates back-taxiing on runways. And then some security fencing that in essence closes off a hole in your airport fencing on the north side of the airport.”
Borta said Boyne City’s airport is in good condition and that the city is doing things right as far as the runway maintenance is concerned.
Boyne City Commissioner Derek Gaylord said he would like to see every one of the projects happen immediately due to their necessity.
“Every single one of these are absolutely important and are not just a cosmetic improvement but are extreme functionality,” he said. “If you’ve ever back-taxied on a non-towered airport it’s interesting until you get off the runway.”
Boyne City Commissioners Tom Neidhamer and Delbert “Gene” Towne also supported the plan.
Boyne City Commissioner Laura Sansom asked for more details about the potential land acquisition.
Cain said the city was not looking to purchase property but to buy the air easement west of the runway to ensure trees do not go over a certain height to ensure there is a sufficient glide path for planes.
As part of the plan, the city would conduct a study to determine which properties might be affected and from where the easements may need to be attained.
According to Boyne’s proposed Michigan State Block Grant Program Airport Capital Improvement Program, 2014 could see an update to the airport’s layout plan.
All of the plan’s recommendations are subject to change and contingent on receiving funds from the state.
Per QoE’s findings, the current Airport Layout Plan (ALP) does not meet federal standards and was originally completed in order to have a plan on file.
“An updated ALP is needed to obtain airspace review of future projects,” it states on the capital improvement plan.
The cost of the first year of the plan is estimated at $72,000 in state funds and $8,000 in local funds for a total of $80,000.
The proposal for 2015 is to acquire land for the west runway approach. This is estimated to cost $540,000 in state funds and $60,000 in local funds for a total of $600,000.
“Property is needed to clear trees at existing residences in the east runway approach in order to reduce the Runway 27 displaced threshold,” it states in the plan. “An estimated 18 residences may be involved.”
According to the 2013 Aircraft Information Manual, a “Displaced threshold is a runway threshold located at a point other than the physical beginning or end of the runway. The portion of the runway so displaced may be used for takeoff but not for landing. Landing aircraft may use the displaced area on the opposite end for roll out.”
The improvement proposed for 2016 involves erecting security fencing at a total estimated cost of $125,000; $112,500 in state funds and $12,500 in local moneys.
“Fencing is needed to control pedestrians, ATVs and snowmobile traffic, as well as reduce deer incursions on the runway,” it states in the plan.
In 2017, it is proposed to construct phase one—1,240 feet by 35 feet—of a parallel taxiway.
The estimated cost of this project is $275,000—with $247,500 coming from state funds, and $27,500 in local moneys.
“Phase I of the parallel taxiway is to reduce back-taxiing and improve airport safety,” it states in the plan.
The second phase of the parallel taxiway is proposed for 2018. This section would be 3,440 feet by 35 feet.
The estimated cost of the second phase of the taxiway is $700,000, with $630,000 in state funds and $70,000 in local funding.
The 2019 improvements proposed include the rehabilitation of Runway 9-27. No cost estimates have been produced at this time.
The grand total for the overall airport improvement project is estimated to be $1,780,000, with $1,602,000 coming from state funds, and $178,000 coming from local moneys.