A public meeting was recently held to discuss a handful of proposed improvement projects to the Clearwater Airpark.
Located at 1000 N. Hercules Ave., the Airpark
is planning to work on various necessary improvement projects to the facility, operating in accordance with their Master Plan
The four proposed projects discussed at the January 10th meeting include complete runway improvements including a 800-foot extension to the runway, the replacement of older existing hangars
, repairs to the current maintenance hangar and the construction of a new office building.
“When the Airpark
was built in 1939, the site had formerly been the location of the community dump and because some of the current runways and buildings were built on top of the existing landfill at the time, the ground has begun to settle,” says Airpark Director of Marine and Aviation Bill Morris. “Building foundations are shifting -- as with the former terminal and Fixed Base Operations Building -- and the ground under the runway has settled, causing depressions and dips in the runway and taxiways.”
The proposed enhancements are grant-funded through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
. Eighty percent of funds will be provided by FDOT with a 20 percent match made by the City of Clearwater
In other words, according to Morris, for $375,000 the Airpark will receive $1.5 million through the Joint Automated Capital Improvement Plan
through the FDOT, totaling approximately $1.88 million for projects identified as priorities in the approved Master Plan.
“Improvements such as these will help the Airpark to remain competitive in the marketplace, train new pilots that are essential to our nation's aviation needs and keep the facility's existing tenants while attracting new tenants,” says Morris. “Additionally, the airfield and surrounding neighborhoods will both be safer by having a longer runway, enabling planes to have a longer hard surface to get up to speed for takeoffs.”
According to Morris, this allows the planes to be higher over nearby homes as they climb out/up, resulting in quieter takeoffs for residents.
Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Bill Morris, Clearwater Airpark