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Airport now has September 1 opening

Posted: July 9, 2014 - 5:33pm
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This machine has prepared the acres of concrete poured so far at the airport.
This machine has prepared the acres of concrete poured so far at the airport.

The new airport in the Lollie Bottoms is now scheduled for a September 1 opening. It had been tentatively scheduled to open around mid-August, but rain delayed construction.

Work continues to flesh out the interior of the terminal building, but the apron and taxiways are mostly finished. It’s hoped that Conway Corp will be ready to turn on the electricity at the airport by the end of next week.

The airport was planned to have seven corporate hangars, where business jets and larger propeller-driven aircraft will be stored, but so far only two earnest money agreements have come to firm contracts and construction plans, airport manager Josh Zylks said on Wednesday. The material that will be the start of the T-hangars, which will hold 36 small general aviation aircraft, is on the ground at the airport site, and Zylks has the go-ahead to start working with MM Satterfield Aviation Fuel on a fuel vendor agreement. There will also be covered aircraft parking. 

The new airport is being built using 90 percent federal money. The remainder is split between state money and local money generated by the sale of the current airport property. By federal law, money from the sale of the current airport land must be invested into the new airport.

The property at the existing airport, it is planned, will be sold to developer Jim Wilson and Associates for the Central Landing shopping center, but this contract calls for the city to pay for about $18 million in street projects, which in turn depends on the city’s voters approving a bond rededication in September.

“This is critical for us,” Mayor Tab Townsell said.. To market the property we knew we had to put roads through it and make it more viable, otherwise it was going to bring in a bottom-dollar amount, and also in recognition of the master street plan and having more connectivity in Conway to the interstate and across the interstate.”

Plans for a new I-40 overpass pre-exist the offer from Wilson and Associates, and these roads would be built through and around the vacant airport property regardless of the Central Landing development, Townsell said, albeit at a much slower pace, “but if we get a positive vote on the bond issue, we can build these roads on a timetable that will also get the shopping center."

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Lilly03
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Lilly03 07/10/14 - 10:07 am
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What a game of Russian

What a game of Russian Roulette - this must happen for that, which was already agreed to.
And if the agreements the city put in place for the hangers stay 'as is' there probably won't be any more built. Hope we were dependent on income from those other 5 being built.

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 07/10/14 - 11:52 am
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Nah

That's a fairly standard airport agreement. One can fully anticipate additional hangars in time to come.

Elmer Fudd
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Elmer Fudd 07/10/14 - 01:22 pm
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Igor

You must know something no one else does. Who are these folks building them and when? Come on fess up.

Budnmud
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Budnmud 07/10/14 - 03:26 pm
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What if?

What if Tab throws his party and nobody comes? what then?

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 07/10/14 - 04:11 pm
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How

How can anybody NOT vote for this bond issue? How?

Oh sure, some chest-thumping (borrowed from Fox News/Koch Brothers) rant/mimicry, but seriously, pumping buckets of money into the city for a relatively paltry investment, how is this bad? The sort of investment that'll pay off for future generations, just as previous generations paved the way for us, how can anyone who thinks for themselves be against this?

How can anybody, anybody, who can do math and has passed a civics course in high school be opposed to this?

Elmer Fudd
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Elmer Fudd 07/10/14 - 11:45 am
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Lilly03

Seems to be the way this City Administration does business. Fire from the hip then knee jerk when they miss.

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