Parking for aircraft built in the 1940s that is still landed upon today will soon be revamped at Ardmore Municipal Airport.
The Ardmore Development Authority unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to invest $16,250 into redesigning two aprons at the airport after state funds were approved by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.
Estimated total cost of the project is slated at $325,000. But since OAC has agreed to front most of the necessary funds, Ardmore taxpayers only have to spot 5 percent of that.
“The cool part about what we’ve done today is that OAC approached us about an opportunity to receive 95 percent funding for our project,” said ADA President and CEO Mita Bates. “I think it is a good reflection of Ardmore that OAC recognizes our ability to move very quickly to take advantage of a situation where we can improve our airpark on an accelerated timeframe.”
OAC reviewed the city’s five-year capital improvement plan, which included intentions to refresh the aprons in fiscal year 2019. Because the committee awarded the city a grant for part of its apron rehabilitation program, the airport will see those changes about a year in advance.
The ADA had already budgeted $15,000 for improvements, so Bates said the 5 percent needed from the ADA falls in line with plans.
The ADA has contracted H.W. Lochner, Inc. for the design of and construction of two 150-foot by 75-foot hardstands, penning the company for services not to exceed $84,000. Lochner has already begun preliminary design work, and since the grant stipulates that work be ready by Oct. 2, the company told ADA trustees that they can meet that deadline.
Airport Operations Manager Chase Tindle described the current aprons as dilapidated and in dire need of replacement. The parking, as well as the old taxiways that were recently replaced, used since the airport was the Ardmore Army Air Field during World War II has shown considerable wear, he said.
“The whole entire west side of the airport is in pretty poor condition,” Tindle said. “Small, non-commercial airports can’t justify using FAA funds to rehab these aprons. So that’s where these state funds come in.”
Bates expects more traffic from fliers and commercial visitors that will prove to be beneficial for the city of Ardmore.
“What happens is we have parking areas that are very, very old and in need of updating. And the way that you attract more business from both commercial fliers coming in, and general aviation, is to have good facilities.“ Bates said. “The ability for us to be able to leverage with the state and build these hard stands will just be tremendous for us.”