Improvements that were recently completed at the Great Bend Municipal Airport made history for the local facility, but also for the state of Kansas, according to Airport Manager Martin Miller.
Miller explained that the local airport was the first Kansas facility to use the process, which is designed to make the runways safer, and that is important, considering the age of the local facility, which has been in constant use since this was a World War II Army Air Corps training facility.
“This seal mixture is the first to be used on any airport in Kansas, and is designed to preserve the asphalt runways for at least five years by soaking down into the asphalt and re-binding the materials,” Miller explained.
He added the new process “prevents the asphalt from unravelling gravel and rocks that can harm both jet engines and propellers.”
He noted that work was done in a way to keep the busy facility operating. “Each runway was sealed in a single day, and the paint crews were able to finish the first coat of white striping on the third day.”
The cost for the runways was about $335,000, Miller reported, adding that with the grant participation of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Kansas Department of Transportation, the city’s share of this project was about $36,000.
The work is all but done, Miller added. “The final painting will occur next week, weather permitting, and this coat will include glass beads, which are needed for night reflectivity.”