KENNETT -- Area pilots are anxiously awaiting the official opening of the new 5,001-foot runway at Kennett Municipal Airport.
John Dalton, chairman of the airport committee, said this is the "only big runway we've built. We're like a bunch of kids waiting for Christmas. We're wanting it to get here. We are pleased with the project."
Work continues primarily in the infield of the new runway. The primary concern, according to Kennett mayor Donald Parker, is drainage off the infield.
Dalton concurred that the "big problem is associated with stabilization of soil against the runway and taxiway.
"Heavy rain this spring and summer has made this more difficult than it normally would be, eroding some of the shoulders. This is not unusual for an airport project, but in our case it is a little more of a problem because of the sandy soil."
Dalton said a MoDOT inspector looked at the runway and said there were a few things that needed to be corrected, but nothing major.
The runway will not open until MoDOT and the FAA give their permission. Although the official inaugural use of the runway has been postponed indefinitely, according to observers, the runway has already been used.
Area pilots are cautioned against attempting to land on the runway because work there is ongoing.