Fremont Municipal Airport is a step closer toward construction of a new terminal building and aircraft apron.
Members of the Airport Advisory Committee learned Friday morning that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the Airport Layout Plan.
“They haven’t approved the project yet,” said Fremont City Administrator Brian Newton.
However, city officials have learned that approval of the layout plan is just part of the process.
“It’s good news that we got the layout approved,” Newton said.
Plans are in the works for construction of a new terminal and also a parking apron for aircraft.
The current terminal, built in 1964, needs new heating and air conditioning systems and other upgrades.
In addition, the current parking apron is no longer large enough and the FAA would like to see the new apron in place before a new terminal is constructed.
Advisory committee members also voted in April to recommend moving the automated weather observing system (AWOS) from the northern side to a southwesterly location on the grounds of the airport.
That recommendation was made because the proposed site plan would conflict with the effectiveness of AWOS usage. The new location of the AWOS would be north of the Christensen Field ball fields.
“As soon as the project is approved, we can move the AWOS and then we can go out for bid on the apron,” Newton told the Tribune.
Newton told the committee that the layout plan’s approval was a step forward.
“We really wanted to be able to move the AWOS,” Newton said. “We’d like to get that done this fall before the ground freezes, but I don’t think we’re going to get it done unless we get the approval on the project. We can’t move it until they give us approval.”
Newton said he didn’t know how long it would take for the FAA to approve the project.
“They said it could be weeks. It could be months,” Newton said.
Newton said it won’t take long to move the AWOS. Utilities and communications lines will need to be moved to the new AWOS site and a concrete pad poured.
“The State has somebody come out and physically move it (the AWOS),” Newton said.
An AWOS provides up-to-the-minute weather information for pilots coming into the airport so they can safely land.
A set of plans and specifications will be needed for construction of the parking apron.
Newton hopes construction of the apron will take place late next summer or in the fall of 2019.
Committee member Jennifer Weiss-Assman asked if there is an architect’s schematic for the terminal building itself.
“No, we’re not that far,” Newton said. “It will be probably a year or two on the drawings.”
Last month, however, Dave Goedeken, director of public works, told the committee that Bob Crain, project manager of aviation services for Burns McDonnell, is putting together a scope of services for the design of the apron and terminal building.
In other business, Newton talked about translucent panels for directional signage at the former Runway 1-19, which is now a taxiway on the airport’s easterly side.
The signage must indicate that the former runway is now a taxiway.
Newton said an attorney for the city didn’t care for some of the terms and conditions in a purchase agreement for the panels and that he must look into that more.
The advisory committee meets at 8:15 a.m. on the third Friday of each month in the airport terminal at 1203 W. 23rd St., Fremont. Meetings are open to the public.