City Preparing for Jet Service

Airport Gen 001The 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
Cost: $29,000

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.

  • Taxpayer

    Another perk for the financially well off & those receiving government pay & benefits,,,not affordable the rest out us. Some more noise to add to train noise.

    • Chief59

      In the 1960’s air travel was considered a luxury. Now, it is a mundane and overly common experience.

      “Perk for the financially well off & those receiving government pay & benefits”? Looks like those darn “takers” are striking again with their fancy pants airplane rides!

  • BobOil

    Perk? Air transportation isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity, and for anyone who has the need to travel cross country, not wasting hours driving to Wichita, Manhattan or Topeka to get on a jet, this would be huge. To get United, Delta or American regional service here would be huge…

  • uknowimright

    Not to mention in the past they would not bring some businesses to hays (Red Lobster) because the airport could not provide the necessary transportation for the demand of fresh food product that it would need. I think this would open up a lot of new opportunities for hays and surrounding areas!

    • Tellin it

      Hays will never get a Red Lobster or any other major dining restaurant chain. Our population can’t support it. That is some bs lie they are feeding you. Red lobster can’t get their “fresh” seafood but Sake 2 me can get actual fresh seafood for sushi. C’mon Man!

  • Guests

    That would be nice to get some fights in here. I know they spend a lot of money on advertising. I would never fly hays unless they get some jets in here. They also need a Denver route big time.

  • fly hays finally

    This is great news. Great Lakes has had horrible service and worse customer service for years. stuck in Hays or Denver 1 out of three trips…..slept on floor in Denver once too many times and too many cancelled business trips out of Hays to count. I have flown American regional jet service from Manhattan and Garden City….great, reliable service with fantastic, convenient connections. We have put up with Great Lakes way too long…..time to move on.

  • Chief59

    If this comes to fruition, maybe it will silence those who threw a fit about a new fire station at the airport. I doubt it though.

    • chef

      We need bike lanes to the airport, don’t we Chief?

      • Chief59