County commissioners back Airport Layout Plan
Published: Thursday, July 25th, 2013
The Custer County Commission has given the thumbs up to a new layout plan for the Custer County Airport, the next mile marker in the winding road to getting the airport to the size and functionality needed for future support from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Airport Layout Plan (ALP), presented by Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson (KLJ), a civil engineering firm out of Rapid City, was approved unanimously by the commission at its July 17 meeting.
The ALP will serve as the official record with the FAA as to what the county wants to see happen with the airport in the future. The PowerPoint presentation given by KLJ officials, showed the existing layout and potential layout, with much of the focus of the future layout focused on developing the grassy area that slopes away from the apron. Officials said by filling in the area with dirt, it could become a useful area for hangar and apron expansion. It would also assist in the separation of fixed wing aircraft from firefighting helicopters that are stationed at the airport in the summer.
Although the commission approved the ALP, it is not set in stone. An ALP is needed to submit to the FAA before it or the state will commit any funds toward airport expansion.
The ALP is separate from the issue of the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ), and will eventually see the county acquire land to the east of the airport, including some property east of Hwy. 385 and the land Southern Hills Tactical sits on. According to the FAA, an RPZ is a two dimensional trapezoidal area at ground level prior to the threshold or beyond the runway end that enhances the safety and protection of people and property on the ground. The FAA says, where practical, airport owners should own the property under the runway approach and departure areas to at least the limits of the RPZ. It is desirable to clear the entire RPZ of all above-ground objects.
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