Ameila Earhart Airport Runway 16-34 Planning and Design

Location Atchison, Kansas

Owner City of Atchison

Client City of Atchison

  • Airport Planning/Design
  • Airport Alternatives Analysis
  • Airport Demand Capacity Analysis
  • Airport Capital Improvement Program

Amelia Earhart Airport (K59) is currently comprised of a single, 3,000’ runway system. In addition to businesses desiring to base aircraft at the airport pending availability, the city was also required to correct several FAA issues, including lack of control over the Runway Protection Zones and obstructions to the approach surfaces. However, the current layout of the airport is constrained, with few economical options available for expansion or correction of the obstruction issues.

Lochner has assisted K59 with conceptual plans and environmental analysis of development of a new runway to meet the needs of the city and airport stakeholders. These efforts entailed analysis of at least three runway development alternatives. Development of a new runway would be difficult due to potential impacts to streams, an unpermitted landfill, and a nearby farmstead listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Furthermore, the rolling terrain in the vicinity of the airport presented a challenge for having clear approaches to the runway, in addition to requiring a costly amount of fill to build a new runway. Ultimately, an east-west runway alignment, designated Runway 9-27, was selected to satisfy the purpose and need of the project, while resulting in the fewest social and environmental impacts. Lochner assisted the city in being eligible for future federal discretionary grants by creating an Airport Development Plan justifying the need for Runway 9-27 and comparing numerous development alternatives for achieving a 4,000’ runway.

Similar to an Airport Master Plan, the Development Plan included extensive forecasting, an assessment of the infrastructure of the airport, and cost estimates of all alternatives presented in the plan. The Airport Development Plan was approved by the FAA, and Lochner subsequently updated the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) to reflect the preferred alignment of the new runway and the most recent FAA airspace and design standards. Once the ALP was approved and airspaced by the FAA, Lochner completed an Environmental Assessment for a more detailed look at potential environmental impacts resulting from development and operation of proposed Runway 9-27. The FAA then issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, allowing the City to move forward with the land acquisition process.

Lochner assisted the city with acquisition of approximately 113 acres of land in fee simple. Easements will also be acquired to accommodate relocation of the Automated Weather Observing System, as well as the Runway Protection Zones for future Runway 9-27. Lochner continues to assist the city with the easement acquisition process, providing surveying, appraisals, and review appraisals to adhere to FAA land acquisitions regulations, as well as providing consistent communication with impacted property owners.

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