DeKalb County Airport to extend runway

None of the aircrafts can currently operate safely at full loads outside of standard weather conditions. With an extension to 6,400 ft, 3/4 of the fleet can operate in any conditions. At 7,000 ft 100% of the fleet can operate safely under most conditions.

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 11:50 AM

DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT)- James Griffith has lived in his home near the DeKalb County Airport for about three years. In that time, hearing plans on the runway has never bothered him, but due to an expansion of the already 5,000 ft runway, he could hear more air traffic in the coming years.

"The small planes we don't hear at all. The jets we hear very little," he said.

The runway will be expanded to at least 6,400 ft, and possibly further in the future. The airport manager said the expansion will allow for more aircrafts, but the main goal is to improve safety.

"On specific days most jets don't have what they call a balanced field, or the ability to take off safely if something happened during that take off, so we're trying to make it safer for those folks," said Russ Couchman, airport manager.

The $8 million project will also include an extension of the taxiway.

They've already started removing some navigational aids and power lines. It's the first step to building on a piece of DeKalb County's economy.

"Our economic impact to the region is $220 million currently, so the airport is a very important part of economic development in the region," Couchman said.

"We feel this extension and expansion of the whole airport's going to bring more economic growth to the area, whether it be commercially or industrial, which would be more jobs," said Don Grogg, County Commissioner.

We can expect to see the expansion completed within the next three to four years.

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