by Carrie Johnson
If you have driven through Horseshoe Bend within the last week, you might have noticed crews working on the airport runway. The Horseshoe Bend Municipal Airport Schatzman Field is currently closed for repairs. The work started on Wednesday, March 22 and the projected completion date is early April, weather permitting. The Airport will re-open upon completion. Airport Commission Chairman Mike Slavin stated, “This project is a part of the continuing effort of the Airport Commission to increase the value of the Airport to the City.”
At the end of the summer last year, the Airport Commission received notice that they would receive the Runway, Taxiway and Ramp Rehabilitation Project grant. The Rehabilitation Project consists of filling and sealing cracks, a seal coat of asphalt, and then repainting the runway lines. The Commission looked forward to beginning the work last Fall, but could not due to adverse weather conditions.
Garver USA, of North Little Rock, is the engineer on the project and Vance Brothers, of Kansas City, KS, is the prime contractor. They have been working long hours around the weather to ensure the finalization of the project is early April.
Where is this funding coming from?
The Airport applies for an Airport Improvement Program, AIP, grant. They have to make sure it meets the standards and criteria of the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA. Typically, if awarded the grant, the FAA will pay 90% of the cost of the project. The sponsor, Airport, is responsible for paying the remaining 10%.
The Runway, Taxiway and Ramp Rehabilitation Project costs approximately $243,000. The FAA covers 90%, $218,500, of the grant and instead of Horseshoe Bend Municipal Airport being liable for the other 10%, approximately $24,500, the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics has decided to foot the bill. Federal and State funding is generated through aviation fees and taxes.
Which means, there is little or no cost to the Airport or the City of Horseshoe Bend.