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Frederick Airport Tower

From the Frederick News-Post, September 28, 2010

Airport control tower grant approved, construction to move forward
Originally published September 28, 2010

By Stephanie Mlot
News-Post Staff

 
 
 
   

The Frederick Municipal Airport’s air traffic control tower has been granted final approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.The $4.8 million tower will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin announced the funding Monday.

“Because of its close proximity to Washington, D.C., Camp David and Fort Detrick, the Frederick Municipal Airport has become an important hub in our state’s transportation network,” said Cardin, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, in a statement.

Despite federal funding, plans will not be finalized until a Wednesday meeting between the mayor and board of aldermen, allowing the group to deliberate and approve the construction contract, according to Rick Weldon, the mayor’s executive assistant.

“I think it’s highly unlikely that the board wouldn’t want to move forward with building a tower, given that it doesn’t cost the city budget a penny to do it,” Weldon said.

Airport Manager Kevin Daugherty has said the tower is about safety and security, to help regulate volume at Maryland’s second-busiest airport.

“First and foremost, this substantially and permanently improves the safety of FDK airport operations,” Mayor Randy McClement wrote in an e-mail Monday.

Without this grant, the possibility of the tower would only be a project placed somewhere in a future Capitol Improvement Plan, he said.

City Transportation Planner Tim Davis called the grant approval fantastic.

This comes after years of work, he said. “A lot of working with a lot of people.”

The 105-foot tower is expected to be on the east side of the airport, north of the Department of Public Works building.

“We know that this tower will lead to an increase in fuel sales and maintenance work, all of which improves the revenue picture at the airport, in turn helping to provide a new stream of revenue for the city,” McClement wrote.

Frederick has been wading through every imaginable control tower grant request for years, Davis said, finally gaining approval Monday.

The project is expected to create 80 to 90 jobs, and staff six to eight full-time controllers trained, certified and salaried by the FAA. Upkeep costs will be handled by the airport, a self-sustaining entity.

According to the mayor, the city will manage the construction contract, incorporating the physical structure into its overall facilities management plan at the airport.

While construction will begin almost immediately, completion of the tower is expected within 18 months.

“This is the real thing,” a shovel-ready project, Davis said.

The $4.8 million FAA grant covers the project construction, extension of utilities, tower design, road construction and development fees, Davis said.

A 30-day period after completion will allow for FAA’s inspections and employee training.

McClement doesn’t think local residents who don’t regularly use the airport will notice a difference.

“Of course, the knowledge that we’re operating a safe facility should be a matter of peace-of-mind for our citizens,” he wrote.

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TransIT – Annual Report

TransIT of Frederick County has released it’s annual report for F-Y 2010…TransIT Annual Report 2010w

FACT Holds Educational Forum for Candidates

Presentations to candidates for state and local office were made by several agencies and groups on August 9, 2010, including the Maryland State Highway Administration…SHA_FACT_080910, the City of Frederick…COF_FACT_080910…Frederick County…FredCo_FACT_080910 and Transit…TransIT_FACT_080910

Candidates’ Forum

FACT will be conducting an “Educational Seminar” for County and State candidates running for office. This is an important opportunity that we have to share with the candidates what FACT has done and can do to support roads, mass transit & airport issues in our County.

The forum will be held Monday, August 9th at 7:30 a.m. at the City of Frederick Annex building, 140 West Patrick Street.

U-S 15 at Hayward Road Project

The State Highway Administration says it will soon begin a project to enhance safety at the intersection of U-S 15 and Hayward Road. S.H.A. hopes to complete the project this fall. The work involves relocating the right- turn movement on southbound 15 to westbound Hayward Road approximately 300 feet north of the existing intersection.  Motorists wishing to access Hayward Road from U-S 15 south will turn onto an existing service road that runs parallel to 15. According to the S.H.A., relocating the right-turn movement will eliminate the potential for conflict between northbound 15 motorists to proceed into the intersection and then hesitate when encountering a right-turning vehicle.

Transit-Friendly Design Guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide developers, planners, and appointed and elected officials with information about the benefits of transit-friendly design and to encourage the use of design elements that make commercial and residential developments more transit friendly. These guidelines should be used as a reference tool in the preparation and review of development plans, especially for development that will occur in the County’s urbanized areas and other areas that will be served by public transportation.

Transit-friendly design (TFD) integrates land use, zoning, and transportation planning elements to promote higher-density, mixed-use development that is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. TFD embraces the concepts of “smart growth” and traditional neighborhood design by encouraging higher-density development in areas with existing public services and by encouraging interconnected street networks. Pedestrian accessibility and street-oriented site design are also important elements of TFD. Another important element of TFD is transit access design, which ensures that development sites are accessible by transit vehicles.

Please click here to read the complete guidelines.

FACT Now Travels on the Cyber Road

The Frederick Area Committee for Transportation (FACT) is now hosting a web blog.  Please check in from time to time for news updates and information on pertinent issues.  FACT is a volunteer group that advocates for transportation needs in Frederick County, Md.