May 15, 2021

Council authorizes airport to submit grant for taxiway relocation

$662K project would largely be funded by federal dollars

To help Newton Airport reconstruct the old taxiway at the north end of the airfield, the city council has authorized staff to submit an application for Federal Aviation Funding assistance for the project’s design and engineering services. This will be the second time Newton has tried to submit a grant for the project.

In May 2020, the city was permitted to seek grant money for the design and engineering work, but the Federal Aviation Administration Central Region “failed to forward the application to Washington, D.C.,” city documents stated. Staff say it is necessary to submit a new application.

Several projects at the municipal airport are regularly funded by federal grants, which account for a significant portion of the costs.

The total grant for design and construction engineering services is $662,000. Which means the FAA funds would cover 90 percent of expenses, or $595,800. The city will provide a local match of 10 percent, or $66,200, which will be comprised of 2019-A bonds and FY23 general fund bonds.

Other upcoming projects for the airport include:

• Parallel Taxiway Reconstruction (FY23): According to city documents, the existing taxiway at the north end of the airfield does not meet the minimum standards for separation from the runway. The pavement condition index is also low, which would make in need of replacement soon.

Federal Contribution: $2,871,000

Local Match: $319,000

Total: $3,190,00

• Airport Runway Cracking Sealing Project (FY23-FY24): The asphalt surface of the main runway is in need of joint sealing and patching. Staff said the last pavement rehabilitation project on the runway and taxiways was completed in 2010. The concrete apron areas were constructed in phases in 2003 and 2013.

Federal Contribution: $283,500

Local Match: $31,500

Total: $315,000

• Airport Taxiway Crack Sealing Project (FY23-24): To maintain the existing pavement at the airport and extend its useful life, both the taxiway and runway need to undergo a crack sealing project. The project is based on the August 2019 Pavement Management Report prepared by the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Aviation Bureau.

Federal Contribution: $162,000

Local Match: $18,000

Total: $180,000

• Airport Apron Joint Sealing Project (FY24-25): Much like the aforementioned taxiway and runway crack sealing projects, the apron would also need repairs to its concrete surface.

Federal Contribution: $220,000

Local Match: $30,000

Total: $250,00

• Airport Four-Stall Hangar (FY26): Construction of a new, four-stall hangar at the Newton Airport would allow for more available space for aircraft parking. Currently, the T-hangar space available for rent is normally at or near 100 percent capacity.

Federal Contribution: $20,500

Local Match: $19,500

Total: $40,000

• Northwest Apron Expansion (FY26): City documents say the project will utilize a state grant to extend the airport apron northwest of the 2019 apron expansion project. This particular project constructs additional apron space, which may be needed if airfield use is to increase as expected in the city’s master plan.

Total: $45,000

• Airport Runway Extension (FY26): Currently, the 14-32 runway is 5,599 feet long, city documents said. The forecasted operations at the airport indicate a need to extend the runway to 7,000 feet in length. The runway extension would be entirely to the southeast due to the current runway’s proximity to Interstate 80. Extending in this direction would require land acquisition and environmental studies prior to construction. This project is for those studies, surveys, land acquisition, design and construction of the extension. Future costs likely to apply.

Federal Contribution: $90,000

Local Match: $10,000

Total: $100,000

Prices are estimates included in the City of Newton’s FY22-FY26 CIP.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.