The Hays Regional Airport recently completed reconstruction on its main runway. Changes made to the runway will allow larger aircraft to land in Hays. As a result, the airport is anticipating future bids from the Essential Air Service (EAS) that include regional jet service, which would be new to Hays. In order to allow for regularly scheduled jet service, the FAA requires airports to undergo an Environmental Assessment.
At Thursday evening’s City Commission meeting, Director of Public Works I.D. Creech presented bids that were received from airport consulting firms for completion of the Environmental Assessment. The bids were as follows:
Landrum & Brown, Inc. – Cincinnati, Ohio
Estimated time schedule: 6 months
Cost: $50,000 plus additional $10,000 if public hearing is held
Airport Development Group, Inc. (ADG) – Denver, Colorado
Estimated time schedule: 4 months, 5.5 months if public hearing required
Cost: $36,000, plus additional $3,860 if public hearing required
JVIATION – Denver, Colorado / Overland Park, Kansas
Estimated time Schedule: 4 months, possibly 5 depending on coordinating agencies and FAA review
The assessment would necessitate coordination of the consulting firm with local, state and federal agencies, and is required of both new and existing airports prior to beginning jet operations. The goal is to assess the potential impact jets will have on the environment and ensure the integration of jet service won’t adversely impact the region in any way across 19 environmental impact categories.
The next round of EAS bids for the airport will begin on December 2nd, 2013. City Manager Toby Dougherty explained that the final part of the assessment is receiving an EAS bid that includes jet service.
“The last key of this is, it has to be specific per carrier, per plane. So they’re going to do all the work, they’re going to get everything ready, and then assuming we get the bid for jet service, they plug that right in with the last and submit it to the FAA.”
Dougherty added that it’s important to begin the process of seeking bids for the assessment now rather than waiting. He said that the city may not know until a couple weeks into December that the airport received service bids that include jet service. Workers will need to begin the assessment as soon as possible to minimize the delay in jet service should the EAS process result in a turbojet aircraft.
The City Commission will discuss this topic at their next meeting Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:30pm at City Hall, 1507 Main Street.