City of Lanett seeks continued state and federal funding for airport

Published 8:55 am Thursday, September 22, 2022

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LANETT — The Lanett City Council on Monday approved resolutions regarding the Lanett Municipal Airport.

Included were resolutions to seek continued state and federal funding for the airport project, advertise for an engineering firm to act as a consultant, and advertise for a fixed base operator (FBO) to help run the airport.

Funding for fiscal year 2022-23 is being sought to rehab pavement to an existing T-hangar and taxiway. 

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An application for continued funding will be forwarded to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Current development plans call for funding to rehab pavement for the airport apron in FY 2024, for reimbursement for development near the terminal in FY 2025, for Phase I of an apron expansion in FY 2025 and for Phase II of that project in 2026, and surface treatment and land acquisition to build a new entrance road in FY 2027.

If the funding request is approved, 90 percent of the amount needed will come from the FAA and 5 percent each from the state and local governments.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Montgomery has been serving as the airport’s engineering and consulting firm. They will continue in that role should they be the low bidder on the new contract.

The city is currently seeking an airport manager. This is an important step in seeing that the expanded airport can reach its full potential. 

Another critical step is to hire a fixed base operator (FBO). This private firm will take care of daily needs at a busy airport, such as testing fuel, fueling the planes, tying down planes that have landed, and attending to planes in need of assistance once they have landed.

Fire/EMS Chief Johnny Allen told the council the airport could be open by the second week in November.

The only work left to be done by the contractor is on the property of a nearby resident.

“We want to make sure they are made whole,” Allen said. “It shouldn’t keep us from opening the airport by the second week of November. If any additional money needs to be spent, it should come before the council.”

A change order approved by the council for contractor Evergreen Erosion Control was for just under $265,000. This is added to the current amount of $1,925,533. 

Fire/EMS Chief Johnny Allen told the council this is for cost overruns that took place over the past several years. Allen said that this has already been paid, but needs to show up in a change order. 

“It’s to make sure we cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s,” he said.