Cape airport FBO to get $300,000 make-over

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Cape Girardeau Regional Airport's fixed-base operation is set to undergo a $300,000 renovation project that airport manager Bruce Loy calls "long overdue."

"It's the gateway to Cape Girardeau for our recreational pilots and visiting pilots," Loy said Friday. "And it's in pretty bad shape right now."

The fixed-base operation, called Cape Aviation, is basically a hangar just south of the airport terminal, where planes are worked on and fueled, as well as a resting spot for pilots and other recreational fliers, Loy said.

A federal general aviation grant is providing $300,000 of the money and the airport had to pay $15,000 in matching funds for work that can be done only for publicly used spaces.

New tile will go into a lobby area, rest rooms will be renovated and a third rest room is being built that will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A roof that leaks will be rehabilitated, including a rubber coating on the exterior of the hangar, Loy said.

Pilot areas, including a pilot briefing area and general reception areas are going to be improved as well, with paint, new tile, new carpet and other work, Loy said.

The work is now in the design process. The Missouri Department of Transportation must review the plans and Loy said they will seek input from other airport tenants as well.

Ozark Aircraft, which does the aircraft maintenance, and Cape Air Charter are also housed in the building. Parts of the hangar are used for flight instruction as well, he said.

"I'm excited that it's happening," said Gerry Keene, chairman of the airport advisory board and recreational pilot. "It's a great thing. There's been some delays because of the funding, but when you're working with all these entities, you'd expect that."

The work could start as soon as October, Loy said, and he's optimistic it will be completed by the end of the year. The operation should not have to close during the work, Loy said.

335-6611, extension 137

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