Minnesota’s second busiest airport is slated to see 34-million dollars in repairs and improvements over the next 10 years.
Organizers held an open house on Tuesday at the Mankato Regional Airport to discuss a Master Plan that will layout the next 20 years for the airport.
TKDA Aviation Planning Group Manager Marcus Watson says part of the City’s plan is to maintain current assets.
“And looking at ways to maximize funding opportunities from Federal Aviation Administration, MnDOT Office of Aeronautics and then leveraging matching dollars from the City of Mankato to maintain the infrastructure that’s here now. Other improvements that we’re looking at are safety enhancements to the airfield, supporting the existing tenants in that regard, particularly MSU and their flight training program, looking at configuration changes to the apron, the taxiway infrastructure to create a more efficient flow of traffic.”
Watson adds that the Airport is viewed as a statewide asset, meaning federal and state funds could bring the local share for the capital improvements to around 7-percent for the potential 34-million dollar project.
“Keep in mind that that is the total needs and most likely the City will have to prioritize those improvements based on the need and based on the available dollars. And just make smart investment choices for the airport.”
Jason Ceminsky is the Airport Consultant for the City of Mankato and says they have been working on the plan for the last five years, evaluating future growth and considering accommodations that can be made for the MSU Aviation Program.
“So a lot of people don’t realize Mankato is the second busiest airport in the State of Minnesota as of today. We are a hub of pilot training, which is really unique. That’s great having the MSU program at Mankato, the aviation program. And the corporate traffic that we get in, business uses the airport, medical users all that sort of stuff. So, I expect that to continue to grow and the airport to continue along that path.”
After the public comment is gathered and the Airport Master Plan is reviewed by the FAA and MnDOT Aeronautics, it will be submitted to the Mankato City Council for adoption.