BARNSTABLE AIRPORT COMMISIONERS AGREE TO
FAST-TRACK NEW AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER. Federal government to fully
cover $4.7 million cost - February 24, 2010
The Barnstable Municipal
Airport Commission has voted unanimously to fast-track the design and
construction of a new air traffic control tower that will accompany a
new passenger terminal planned for the Hyannis airport.
Meeting Tuesday, the
Commission agreed to accept $1.65 million in federal stimulus funds for
the tower and to hire the Florida design firm of CTBX Aviation Group,
Commission Chairman Daniel P. Santos said
that fast-tracking the project will ensure the availability of stimulus
money as well as $3 million in previously-earmarked Federal Aviation
Administration grant funds. The federal government will cover the full
$4.66 million tower cost. Santos said he hopes the design will be
complete by the end of April and that construction can begin as soon as
Airport Manager Roland
“Bud” Breault cautioned that while he has not yet received formal
confirmation of the stimulus funds, he has been assured by federal
officials that the money will be forthcoming. “We’ve done everything to
get the money but cross the “t’s” and dot the “i’s,” he said.
The tower, with a new
controller cab on top, will rise to between 80 and 90 feet – 20 feet
taller than the current structure - and will include a new rotating
beacon for airplane navigation. The commissioners agreed that the tower
will be sited to the east of the existing one on land currently used to
park FAA vehicles and rental cars. The project will be submitted for
review by the Cape Cod Commission as a separate part of a modified
Development of Regional Impact (DRI) application that includes the
proposed new passenger terminal and access road.
Town Council Review
The terminal building
and road projects will be aired at a workshop with Barnstable town
councilors March 4 at 7 p.m. The commissioners and airport staff have
been working to finalize an overall financial plan that includes a
request of the council to bond $3.7 million of the up-front costs. That
money will be paid off through revenue from new airline passenger and
rental car user fees. The balance of funds ($13.1 million) will be
forthcoming from the Aeronautics Division of the Massachusetts
Department of Transportation and airport reserves ($3.2 million).
Breault reiterated that the airport improvements will cost Barnstable
taxpayers nothing. To ensure that, the commissioners agreed in
principle Tuesday to sell airport land, now vacant or used commercially,
to cover any unlikely funding shortfall.
At next week’s workshop,
the commission is expected to announce that it has substantially met all
of the town council’s requirements that were included in an earlier
19-point resolve. One of the council’s major requests was for a
comprehensive airport master plan. A draft of that document has been
completed and will be the focus of a public meeting March 3 at 6:30 p.m.
in Barnstable Town Hall.
For further information,
please contact Airport Manager Bud Breault at 508 775-3033 or at