Big things are happening at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis. Two of five major improvements planned for 2014-2015 are now under away, according to Airport Manager Bud Breault.
Two of the projects will improve safety, three are environmentally friendly and all will improve operations at the airport.
One of the two projects already underway is the relocation of Taxiway Alpha. The aircraft taxiway is being moved 50 feet farther from parallel Runway 15/33 that runs along Barnstable Road, according to a release. The separation of the runways will cost approximately $6 million and is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who will be footing 98% of the bill with the Aeronautics Division of MassDOT. "Once completed, it will significantly increase safety on the airfield," said Breault.
The second of the two projects underway is the creation of a new deicing pad near the air traffic controller. The new state-of the-art facility, according to Breault, will replace three existing pads. The new deicing pad uses an environmentally-friendly method to collect deicing fluids and feed them to the Town of Barnstable's sewer system, a great improvement over the current process.
Three additional energy-related projects are slated to begin later this year. First up, a photo-voltaic solar panel field covering 30 acres on the airfield across from the terminal will be constructed. Breault estimates the panels when operational will reduce the airport's electricity costs by 17% and provide more than $7 million in revenue over 20 years.
The state is funding the design and engineer of a 60,000 fuel farm, an environmentally friendly jet fuel storage system that will replace a 20-year-old underground system with a much smaller capacity. Depending on the availability of state and federal funding, Breault expects the work on the fuel farm to begin in 2015.
Later in 2014, NSTAR will install a high-capacity electric cable along its airfield easement. The laying of the cable may affect runway usage, but will not affect airline service, according to the release.
The five projects are part of the airport's draft Master Plan, a requirement of the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) agreement between the airport and the Cape Cod Commission. The agreement is expected to be finalized this year, according to the release.