Central Kentucky Regional Airport Expansion Services | News
A number of projects at Central Kentucky Regional Airport (CKRA) are underway that will benefit the community and region, Madison County Airport Board officials said Tuesday.
The plans were discussed at Tuesday’s board meeting which focused on improvements to the airport, as well as services that would serve local pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
Todd Bloch of American Engineers Inc. revealed that the application process to secure $1,024,000 in funding for a water/sewer extension project is in its final stages as officials at the airport strive to meet environmental requirements. The project will extend an eight-inch water main to the airport from the Madison Southern Water District, as well as an extension of a penstock sewer main from Berea Municipal Utilities. Wyatt said the project will allow homeowners near the line to connect to both services.
The council applied for a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for $1,024,000, or 80% of the cost, while the City of Berea served as the sponsoring agency to apply for a loan for the remaining 20%, or $256,200. $, from the Kentucky Industrial Authority. .
Board chairman George Wyatt said the outlook for the loans was good, with the infrastructure project likely to be completed by the summer.
“We expect a positive response on the grant within about a month,” Wyatt said.
With the planned construction of a new terminal at CKRA this year, Wyatt said the new waterline will provide better fire protection, which will lower insurance rates for the airport and surrounding residents. It will also reduce insurance rates for potential corporate customers wishing to park business jets in Madison County.
“A lot of good things are happening, and we’ve had good help from the three governments and the community that has allowed us to do that,” Wyatt said. “We are very grateful, but we repay this by providing access to businesses, which helps boost employment. We provide good service to client businesses and this trickles down to the local economy when jobs are created. “
In other news, officials said discussions are underway to expand flight operations and flight instruction services to county residents. Bloch noted that Wings Aviation was considering offering flight instruction at CKRA. The company already offers flight training in Danville and Lexington Blue Grass Airport. In related news, Bloch noted that discussions are underway to form a flight club at CKRA, in which local pilots could pay an annual fee and then gain access to designated aircraft at the facility.
• The T-shed construction project was completed in 2021, but contractors are in the process of completing some checklist items, including the installation of an underground drain. Thanks to the project, 30 new hangers are rented at the airport. CKRA currently has 68 aircraft based at the airport.
• An airport LED lighting project has been delayed due to inclement weather and a lack of staff, some of which is related to COVID-19 outbreaks. Final plans for the project are expected to be submitted soon, Bloch said.
• CKRA could get a big funding boost as a result of the bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year. As a result of the law, the Madison County airport could receive up to $159,000 in federal funds per year for five years, provided it meets matching requirements.
• In related news, Bloch reported that an additional $10 million may be available for Kentucky airports through the Kentucky Department of Aviation. Officials are waiting to see if Governor Andy Beshear will propose more funding for Kentucky airports in his upcoming budget.
•Council also unanimously approved a payment of $193,265 to Jade Construction for a ramp extension. Officials noted that this was partial payment for work in progress.
• In a report by Jason Bonham, a representative of the airport’s fixed base operator, EKU, it was noted that 21 security cameras are now installed to monitor the airport. Those cameras are monitored by Eastern Kentucky University security personnel and airport managers, Bonham said.
•Finally, officials reported that local pilots leaving CKRA helped with the tornado relief effort in western Kentucky. Local pilots ferried emergency supplies to the storm-ravaged area.
•In a final matter, the board tabled a motion to elect new officers, opting to revisit the item at next month’s business meeting.