Airport Expansion Takes Flight

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
 Warsaw’s Municipal Airport currently has 20 hangars that are at full capacity, with a waiting list of 11 potential clients. On August 6, Warsaw City Alderpersons approved a $1.2 million project with B. Dean Construction to build eight additional hangars, making room for additional housing for small engine planes, and increasing the possibility of more air traffic operations.  Construction is estimated to begin in the early spring of 2019, with ribbon cutting anticipated for August 1.
The City of Warsaw has been putting aside $150,000 yearly in MoDOT grants for the expansion, but will still be about $219,000 short at the completion of the project. It is expected that the City will obtain a MoDOT Star Loan to cover the shortage and will repay the loan within a couple of years with continued MoDOT grants. 
During a tour of the airport’s repair shop by Warsaw City Alderpersons, Ashley Perkins of ChaseAero told the group that business at the airport is steady and increasing. ChaseAero was recruited by the City of Warsaw and has its business operation in a large hangar owned by the City.  Dave Hadel, P.E., representing Burns and McDonnell Engineers, reported to the Alderpersons that increased sales of aviation fuel can be expected with additional aircraft flying in and out of the airport. The City saw a large increase in fuel sales this year with the addition of ChaseAero.. 
The City of Warsaw had the idea of a municipal airport in 1994. It partnered with the State of Missouri and the airport project became a pilot program where the State handled aspects of bidding and construction. The runway and tarmac were completed in October 1998 at a cost of approximately $2.4 million. Ninety percent of these funds were provided by the federal government; five percent from the state, and five percent from the City.  
In 1999, the City obtained a ten-year, low interest loan through MoDOT’s Star Loan Program to construct ten hangars, a 24-hour self-serve fuel system and terminal. The hangars are Ful-Fab construction with bifold overhead doors that include walk-through doors for easy access. The terminal has a reception area, meeting room, pilot’s lounge, restrooms and a full kitchen.
In 2004, planning began for a second ten-unit T-hangar, and the project was completed in 2007.  Future planning, after the eight-hangar construction in 2019, includes the expansion of the apron where pilots park and tie their planes down. The current apron reaches capacity several times throughout the year.
The airport covers an area of 168 acres and has one runway with a 4,000 x 75 ft concrete surface. It is located five miles north of Warsaw on Hwy 65 and includes a tarmac tie-down area and Automated Weather Observation System. The City has a courtesy car for pilots to use during their business stay in Warsaw.