Source: Oak Ridge Today | John Huotari | July 30, 2018
Officials working on the proposed Oak Ridge Airport could receive comments this week from the Federal Aviation Administration about a revised layout plan, a project consultant said Thursday.
Officials are finalizing an airport runway plan. If it is approved, that would be a very positive step, project consultant Billy Stair said.
In February, Stair said the FAA wanted project officials, who are proposing to build what is known as a Class B airport, to plan for a future expansion to a Class C airport—sometime around 2040.
“To plan for such a future expansion, we need to widen the runway and taxiway at the initial construction,” Stair said in February. “We do not need to lengthen the proposed 5,000-foot runway. The new runway alignment avoids encroachment by Highway 58.”
On Thursday, Stair said project officials need to plan for the possibility that bigger, faster planes could use the airport in the future. A presentation that Stair gave to Oak Ridge City Council in February said a B-II airport with a 5,000-foot runway could accommodate small jets and King Air aircraft, while planning for a C-II airport, even if there is little need at this time, could accommodate Lear and Gulfstream jets in the future.
If approved and funded, the Oak Ridge Airport would be built alongside Highway 58 on the south side of the Heritage Center, the former K-25 site in west Oak Ridge. It would be built on 170 acres of land that have been declared excess by the U.S. Department of Energy.