Steve Dilliha, chairman of the Russellville-Logan County Airport Board, gave a report Tuesday, Oct. 25 during a Logan County Fiscal Court meeting. Attending with Dilliha were airport board members Wayne Yount and George Offutt, along with airport manager Steven Pierson.
Dilliha began by handing out a summery of capital improvements for the airport showing the past 13 years and the one coming up next. All together there will be $7,675,369 spent at the airport, with only $137,269 coming from City of Russellville and county contributions combined.
From completing a pavement overlay in 2002 to constructing a 500 foot extension of the runway and taxiway in 2016, the airport has come so far. Most of the projects throughout the past 13 years have been paid for from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Kentucky Department of Aviation (KDA).
During Dilliha’s report, he gave statistics concerning the 2016 Kentucky Aviation Association Annual Conference held in Owensboro. Five board members and the airport manager attended the annual conference Sept. 28-30. Some of the key points discussed at the conference Dilliha shared with the court.
“Drones are now called “UAS”s (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and there are 600,000 currently operating in Kentucky,” said Dilliha. “The FAA projects in Kentucky totaled $46.4M in 2016.”
Dilliha reported the Department of Aviation has commissioned a study on Kentucky airports by CDM Smith. In that report it was noted there are over one million aircraft operations in Kentucky annually. There are 1,600 based aircraft in Kentucky, (21) at the Russellville‐Logan County Airport. There are 29 airports with based flight training and the Russellville-Logan County Airport is one of those. There were 800,000 agricultural acres sprayed by aerial applicators (crop dusters) in 2015, and 85 percent of Kentuckians now live within a 30 minute drive to an airport.
Dilliha talked about the airport’s capital improvements and future plans.
“The board works with airport engineers, Garver Engineering. Garver is the board’s expert in airport design, construction, and FAA requirements,” said Dilliha. “The FAA requires us to submit an updated five year Airport Capital Improvement Plan (ACIP) annually.”
The Russellville-Logan County Airport Board is planning to move the construction of new hangars up in the project list.
The airport maintains a waiting list of people who would like to store their planes in a hangar. There are six currently on the list with others on waiting lists at other airports. The board believes that new hangars would be a good investment, as they will generate additional revenue.
FY 2017 Airport Capital Improvement Plan (ACIP)
2017- Runway Overlay $965,000
2018- Taxiway and Taxilane reconstruction $609,600
2019- Land Acquisition and Environmental Assessment $310,000
2020- Runway 24 Extension- Phase 1 (design) $200,000
2021- Runway 24 Extension- Phase 2 (construction) $1,510,600
2022- T-Hanger Addition $1,118,300
Before Dilliha’s report ended, he announced the Logan County Maintenance Department had been awarded the Kentucky Aviation Association Silver Wings award, which is presented by the KAA to individuals or organizations who support or promote aviation in the commonwealth. Paul Lyons, Logan County’s Road Supervisor accepted the award on behalf of the maintenance department.
“They are there whenever we need them,” said Dilliha of the county’s maintenance department. “We cannot thank them enough for all they do.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.