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New Runway Scrapped By Huntingburg Airport Board

Last updated on Friday, March 16, 2012

(HUNTINGBURG) - The Dubois County Airport Authority has canceled its plan to build a new runway at the Huntingburg airport.

But the board has left open the possibility to expand the existing runway.

Mick Birge, reported board member Bob Duncan suggested the idea of scrapping the new runway plans.

He says continuing cost increases and what he says is a lack of justification fueled his desire to end the project.

Duncan says a reduction FAA funding also figured into the decision to scrap the new runway.

The FAA earlier announced that it would consider funding only 90% of the project, not 95 as the board had earlier hoped.

The percentage change would increase the airport authority's share of the $30 million dollar new runway from $750,000 to $1.25 million.

Duncan's initial motion to terminate the airport expansion project drew criticism from board member Ramie Eckerle who stated the new runway plans should not be abandoned.

A crowded room of farmers and landowners sat through last night's nearly 2 1/2 hour meeting. Most of them were there to voice their concerns about the new runway because they say it would affect their land and or neighboring lands.

One nearby farmer, David Ring, left the meeting frustrated that the airport board left open the idea of expanding the current runway. He says even expanding the current runway would restrict his use of his own land. And he's also concerned that even expanding the current runway will take a long time to complete because of all the government entities involved in the decision-making process.

Duncan says now that plans for the new runway have been scrapped, the board can now look at other ways to develop and increase the marketability of the airport.

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