Future plans at a local airport continue to move right along.

Last night, the Dubois County Airport Authority was given an update on a recent meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration concerning a draft of the airport’s Environmental Assessment (EA). DCAA president Michael Cummings says the meeting (held back on OCtober 30th), was more of an introduction as several personnel changes have taken place at the FAA in recent weeks. He says all went smoothly at the meeting.

In the end, he says getting to a stage where the FAA likes the plan enough to give the go ahead to make it public is important:

A public hearing may be held at some point in December or January, though such a hearing would NOT be required unless one is requested.

In other business last night, the board gave its approval for offering a bid of 45 hundred dollars on an easement on a parcel of land near the airport. The land, just over 2 acres total, also includes just under 6 tenths of an acre of forest land that would have the trees removed so that planes could land on the runways at night. Cummings says the acquisition of the easement is a necessary step for the airport:

The owner of the property (Mabel Bartelt)would retain the right to the use of the land under the terms of the board’s offer. The board authorized Cummings and board attorney Phil Schneider to present the offer to Bartelt for her consideration. Bartelt would have 30 days to make a decision on the offer once it was presented.

Also last night, the board received an update on the ongoing Runway 9 project. The board heard that a recent wetland study found an indication of a stream in the area, though all should still be well to proceed with the project. The board approved the cost of $4,100 for the land study, bringing the total dollar amount to date up to just over $18,200.

In final notes, the board heard about the upcoming Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) report for the airport. The board was informed that the FAA recommended during its October 30th meeting with board members that it considers an ALP update and the runway extension project for Runway 9 to be very important for the future. Additionally, airport manager Travis McQueen issued a monthly fuel sales report for the airport. McQueen stated that more than 58 thousand gallons of fuel were used this month, though consumption has largely been in high volume amounts. McQueen stated further that less businesses are flying through the airport at this point, though he attributed that to a seasonal trend.