Crews were busy last week at the Northwest Missouri Regional Airport west of Maryville installing two new 10,000-gallon above-ground fuel tanks, one of which will allow the city-owned aviation complex to service the small corporate jets already landing there.
Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland, the city's point man for airport improvements, said Monday the new tanks will make the facility more competitive with other airports in the region, and will also allow for the servicing of planes owned by locally based jet users, such as the Kawasaki Motors plant.
"We already have jets landing, we just don't have the capability to provide fuel for them," Heiland said. "We've been getting quite a few phone calls from people asking if we have jet fuel, so it there is a demand out there."
Though the tanks — one for jet fuel and one for regular aviation fuel — are now in place, Heiland said it will be at least a couple of weeks before the new fueling island is up and running. Remaining tasks include installing software for a computerized pricing system, which will be accessible from both the airport and City Hall, along with some some electrical work.
"We're on the homestretch," said Heiland, who added that the project is on track for as-scheduled completion sometime next month.
Cost of the fueling station is estimated at nearly $378,000, ninety-five percent of which is covered by a Missouri Department of Transportation grant funded through the Federal Aviation Administration. The federal dollars are attached to a program designed to provide facility upgrades at rural airports. Maryville's required match will come from municipal revenues.
Maryville receives $150,000 in MoDOT airport maintenance funds annually and is allowed to accumulate that money from year to year in order to pay for major capital improvements.
Engineered by Olsson Associates, the city's designer of choice for several major capital improvements, installation of the tank island was handled by Double Check Inc., a Kansas City company specializing in fueling system projects.
The fuel island is one of a couple of planned airport upgrades. The other is to take place over the next five years and embraces paving improvements to the apron, runway and taxiway.
Funding sources for those projects has yet to be nailed down, Heiland said, though a similar MoDOT grant is expected to be part of the mix.
JViation, a company hired by the City Council last summer to engineer runway improvements, was to submit a capital projects plan for the airport to the FAA by the end of 2012.