DIXON – A feasibility study on the City Council's radar is part of a plan for the Dixon Municipal Airport that, in the long run, could help the city's economy.
The council is considering conducting a study to determine what improvements would be needed to upgrade the airport into more of a commercial facility.
City Manager Cole O'Donnell said the city wants to take a look at the long-term feasibility of the airport, which accommodates mostly pleasure aircraft.
"We would like to see what it would take and how much it would cost to modernize and expand the airport to attract more nonpleasure aircraft at the airport," he said.
If approved, the feasibility study would cost $10,000 to $30,000. The tentative timeline of the study would have a start date in June and completion date in October.
"I think if the airport was made more commercial, it could create more opportunity for certain aircraft to land and could expand economic development recruiting for the area," O'Donnell said.
To determine the airport's long-term feasibility, the study would evaluate the current facilities and operations to identify improvements needed for an upgrade.
About a year ago, a 7-member task force was created to study comparable airports and see how commercial, retail and airport-related businesses might be attracted through a long-range plan.
Proposed in the plan was a new 5,000-foot runway, the length most insurance companies require as a minimum for corporate jets.
The airport's current runways are 3,897 feet and 2,803 feet, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
"In order to fully utilize the facility as more than a pleasure craft airport, we would need to expand the runway," O'Donnell said. "What we need to do is look at the current facility and see what the extent of the upgrades would need to be."
The city is also looking to apply to two FAA grants for improvements to the fencing and runway lights at the airport. The grants would require that the city own and maintain the improvements for at least 20 years.
The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. April 4 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Go to discoverdixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.
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