Airport runway set to close beginning of June


HUNTINGBURG — The Huntingburg Airport’s runway is set to close June 1 and will be under construction for about 90 days.

The Dubois County Airport Authority discussed the upcoming closure at a meeting Monday evening. Project Engineer Curtis Brown said it is set to be completed by Aug. 23 but may have to be pushed up to Aug. 12, when the airport is scheduled to have a Federal Aviation Administration flight check.

“We’re doing all we can to have it finished in time,” Brown said. “A good spring rain or something like that happens, though, and this little house of cards falls apart.”

Most corporate flight departments are relocating to Evansville or Owensboro, Kentucky, and many single-engine aircraft customers are relocating to the Daviess County Airport, Huntingburg Airport Manager Travis McQueen said.

Plans to make the runway longer and wider, which will allow planes to carry more weight, have been in the works for more than a decade. Ideally, this will allow the planes to carry more fuel  as well as more passengers and luggage  which will attract more customers. The FAA is funding the majority of the project, and the rest is coming from state and local funding.

For more than a year, the airport has been preparing for the construction by adding dirt to the end of where the runway will extend, building a tunnel over the road near the end of the new runway, lowering County Road 200 West, and other utility work.

The airport authority also:

• Heard from McQueen that the Indiana Department of Transportation's Office of Aviation is doing an economic impact study. This will be used to provide a breakdown of the economic impact the airport has based upon the impact of corporations involved. This will be important for applying for funding, such as USDA grants, in the future.

• Approved a maintenance agreement for the new tunnel. The agreement has yet to be approved by the Dubois County Commissioners but will establish how the commissioners and the airport will split maintenance costs.

• Accepted a runway extension credit of $183,027.41 for phase one of construction services.

• Approved a pay request of $21,303.28 for the FAA and two Woolpert invoices.

• Approved an amendment to the master services agreement updating the FAA grant assurance language, which added in information about COVID-19.

• Approved a construction services agreement for phase two of runway construction for $309,700.

• Approved a payment of $89,300 for the construction of taxiway lights.

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