By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
Despite unfavorable weather, construction crews are hard at work on a $1.9 million airport terminal project at the Clinton Municipal Airport.
Construction on the terminal and adjacent airplane hangar began in September, and although crews have been forced to stop because of high winds, sleet and snow, airport manager Mike Nass says the project is still on schedule.
“By the time we’re in the building will be early spring I think,” Nass said. “That’s what we anticipated so we’re pretty well on schedule.”
Nass and airport officials have been planning the new hangar for more than 10 years but the idea became a reality when they received a $54,600 grant in 2011 from the Iowa Department of Transportation to begin the design process.
Since, they have received a series of other funding opportunities from state, federal and local governments to make the project a reality.
The big push to get construction going came from a federal grant for $637,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation that began the nearly $900,000 portion of the project, a project Nass feels will strongly benefit the airport as well as the city of Clinton.
“Building a new terminal gives a better first impression to any potential business partners for the airport,” Nass said. “We are a lot of times the first thing people see when they arrive in Clinton so it’s important to give a good impression.”
“The new hangar will be large enough to handle the corporate airplanes, to protect it from bad weather, which is important to our business and the city’s business,” Nass
said. Although the new building will have a similar design as the current terminal, it is expected to be smaller and more energy efficient, lowering the airport’s operating costs.
It also will feature new bathrooms that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and a modernized lobby featuring a completely redesigned layout.
As for the hangar designs, Nass expects once it’s complete it will offer protection to major corporate planes that will travel to Clinton for business ventures and potential partnerships, a big reason the project was such a high priority.
“The new hangar will be large enough to handle corporate airplanes, to protect it from bad weather, which is important to our business and may increase our potential for business,” Nass said.
With construction about a third of the way done, the vision of the new airplane hangar and terminal building is becoming a dream come true for Nass.
“We’ve been planning this new hangar building for 10 years so it’s nice to see that it’s actually being done,” Nass said. “I’m very excited.”