Runway project enters final phase


Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ Larry Bothe points out a pilot tube on the wing of an airplane on Tuesday at Freeman Municipal Airport. The tube is used to gather information on the plane's air-speed. Federal budget cuts will have little effect on Freeman Field or its reconstruction plans.

Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ Pilot Sam Ault moves toward the runway to prepare for takeoff in his plane on Tuesday after fueling at Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour. The federal budget cuts will have no impact on the airport, or the reconstruction of runway 5-23.

Recent federal spending cuts are not affecting operations at Freeman Municipal Airport, and an ongoing project to rebuild the airport’s main runway is on track for completion this summer.

When finished, the $4.5 million rehabilitation of runway 5-23 will allow larger, heavier aircraft to land in Seymour, potentially bringing more commercial and military air traffic to the area and helping boost the local economy.

The project is primarily being funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, along with some state and local dollars, airport manager Don Furlow said Monday.

In March, the FAA released a list of 200 smaller airports nationwide, including Columbus Municipal Airport and Monroe County Airport in Bloomington, that will lose funding this year to operate their air traffic control towers due to automatic federal budget cuts. Seymour does not have a control tower.

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