Council to proceed with Master Plan for Municipal Airport
The Springfield City Council the evening of March 15 voted to move forward to develop an Airport Master Plan. The council has discussed moving forward with an Airport Master Plan for several years. If the city wishes to continue having an airport, maintain it, and has any intention of moving forward with any future improvements the State and FAA look favorably upon having a Master Plan, City Manager Matt Skaret said. In 2015 the council approved applying for state funding in 2016 for a Master Plan. The state has always signaled a willingness to fund the application, but maintains that it needs to be “right sized.” The state wants FAA approval of the scope of the Master Plan before formally agreeing to fund the project, Skaret added.
The primary holdup on the Master Plan appears to be the fact that the Springfield Municipal Airport has been declassified by the FAA. Back in 2012 the FAA began an asset management program and identifying smaller airports with fewer based aircraft. The FAA set the bar for being a “basic” airport as having a minimum of 10 based aircraft. Springfield currently has four. As a result of becoming “unclassified,” the airport is no longer eligible to receive $150,000 in entitlement funds annually. However, additional information on ramifications has not been forthcoming from the FAA. According to a November 2015 Report, the FAA is considering two options for unclassified airports: 1) get these airports out of the National Plan of Integrated Airport systems; or, 2) keep these airports in the system and reevaluate every five years. For the complete story see this week's Springfield Advance-Press