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September 28, 2012


Airport lighting, hangar project approved for 2013 construction

A $640,353 project has been approved to improve runway approach lighting and construct new T-hangars at the joint-use Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport.

The Fort McCoy portion of the airport supports military aircraft; the Sparta portion of the airport supports civilian aircraft.

James Hubbard, Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport manager, said the contractor for the project currently is completing preliminary work, including design. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2013 and be completed by the fall of 2013.

New approach lighting, called precision approach path indicator lights, will be installed on all four approaches to the two runways, Hubbard said.

The new lighting will provide improved visual clues for pilots for day/night and severe-weather landings compared to the existing lighting.

A 2009 project improved runway and taxiway edge lighting for all runways, he said. This project will bring improved lighting to all of the runway approach lights, which will better support safety for day- and night landings for both military and civilian aircraft.

The new runway lighting can be turned on via radio control in the planes and also manually by airport operations personnel, Hubbard said.

The project will be done in phases so it will not have any impacts on the training schedule for 2013, which again will include a number of military training exercises, Hubbard said.

The new T-hangars will be added at the Sparta portion of the airport.

Andrew Trimble, airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, said the additional T-hangars will allow more owners to lease space for aircraft storage. Currently some local owners are required to hangar their aircraft at other airports.

Funding for the project is being provided through the Federal Aviation Administration, $600,000; the city of Sparta, $37,536; and state of Wisconsin $2,817.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker approved the design review by the Bureau of Aeronautics, which is under the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and released the state funding.

(Some information in this story is from a Wisconsin Department of Transportation news release.)

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