The Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport at UCM, could be part of an infrastructure improvement project soon.

The University of Central Missouri's Board of Governors recently authorized the application for a federal grant that would cover 90% of the cost for the almost $7-million project.

The grant is made possible through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program, and UCM will apply through the Missouri Department of Transportation, according to Tony Monetti, executive director of aviation and the Skyhaven Airport. He noted that project components include about $2.7 million for relocation of the existing taxiway, which also requires demolition of the existing terminal building, and $4 million for runway rehabilitation.

Monetti noted that the existing taxiway is located about 200 feet east of the runway, and the Airport Layout Plan, recommends the new taxiway be placed about 400 feet from the runway. The new taxiway location will meet the FAA recommended separation distance and also enable the airport to better accommodate small corporate jet aircraft, which will enhance Skyhaven’s ability to serve community aviation needs. Moving the taxiway, however, also will require demolition of the existing terminal building.

According to the press release from UCM, the second part of the grant-funded airport infrastructure project includes resurfacing runway 1/19. Monetti said, that is important, due to cracking and raveling in some areas which, if not addressed, could potentially lead to foreign debris on the runway surface. MoDOT considers that area a priority.

UCM hopes to begin project design in the spring of 2017, followed by construction in the summer, if the grant is approved. Institutional reserves would be used to cover UCM’s 10% share of the project.

UCM is the only public university in Missouri to own and operate a community-use airport.

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