Dubuque airport seeking feedback on master plan

Dubuque Regional Airport officials are considering proposals to improve the flow of air traffic and add a cargo facility in the coming years.

Those proposals are part of the airport’s new master plan. Airport officials are currently seeking public feedback on the proposals, including at an information workshop planned for Thursday, June 10.

“This is the public’s opportunity to provide input on their regional airport,” Airport Director Todd Dalsing said.

The Dubuque airport master plan looks at the future needs to “provide systematic guidelines for the airport’s overall maintenance, development and operation,” according to the plan’s website.

The Federal Aviation Administration recommends airports update their long-term master plans every seven to 10 years or as needed. The plan acts as a guidebook for airport officials’ decision-making.

Coffman Associates, an airport planning firm, worked with the Dubuque airport to identify trends and aviation demands to create an outline for the next 20 years.

Mike Dmyterko, the firm’s president, said several parts of the plan are aimed at improving the flow of air traffic. The plan assesses the efficiency of the airport’s runway and taxiway design and possible relocation of the air traffic control tower.

“The (Federal Aviation Administration) changes standards quite often,” he said. “… The airport is still safe, it’s just simply what changes in design they’d like to see, how wide (runways) are and how the angles look.”

The plan also proposes adding a cargo facility. Dalsing said airport officials are looking to expand in the cargo market with maintenance, repair and overhaul stations.

Dmyterko said that while the addition of a cargo facility is not guaranteed, its inclusion in the master plan puts the possibility on the airport’s radar.

“(Maintenance, repair and overhaul) bring in high-paying jobs, and those improvements would help the airport and the community in economic development,” he said.

Airport officials also are considering adding solar fields at the site to “help offset energy costs and/or generate revenue by reselling energy to the grid,” Dalsing said. A feasibility study would be needed to determine the sustainability of solar panels.

Those interested in giving feedback on the master plan can do so at Thursday’s workshop or online at the study’s website.

After the workshop, the engineers will review comments to make changes to the plan, which will then be sent to the FAA and Iowa Department of Transportation for review.

Once the finishing touches are made, the plan will go to the Dubuque City Council for approval.