(SALEM) - An open house is being planned at Salem Municipal Airport from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 11.
"This is so the public can come and ask questions and find out firsthand what's going on," said Cory Harper, airport planner with BF & S Civil Engineers.
Marcia Walker, of the Leader-Democrat reports, there will be displays about plans for the new airport, including the utility re-location project that is underway.
"There will be exhibits up, information about the different stages of development over the next four to five years," Harper said. "There will be exhibits displaying economic impacts, local as well as state."
Members of the city's air board will be at the open house and Harper plans for representatives from businesses that use the airport to attend.
BF & S only recently was hired to guide the air board through the expansion project, replacing RW Armstrong.
Harper said so far, he and members of the air board have had six meetings with individuals and/or agencies about the airport, including a trip to Chicago to meet with representatives of the FAA. Representatives have also met with state legislators, encouraging them to increase the amount of matching money provided by the state, from 2.5 percent match to 5 percent. That would reduce the local match.
Plans are for a 3,000-foot runway that would be expanded to 5,000 feet at a later date.
Harper is optimistic that a new runway could be open as early as next year. He has found ways to reduce costs from $24 million, an estimate provided by RW Armstrong, to $12 million. Savings is due in part to reducing the number of taxi-way connectors and using an existing house for a terminal building, rather than constructing a new facility.
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