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Secondary runway repairs at Lost Nation Airport expected for May

Andrew Cass | The News-Herald

Repairs to Lost Nation Airport’s secondary runway are expected to begin in early May and be completed before the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which is anticipated to be a busy time for the airport. Bids for the project for runway 10-28 were accepted March 23, and all were below the engineer’s estimate of $330,000. “The engineer took everything home to make sure the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted, and we’ll award the bid to the lowest bidder,” Lost Nation Airport Manager Patty Fulop said. That bid came in at about $268,000.The airport’s main runway, 5-23, was repaired in November. That projected has been completed except for the restriping of a crooked stripe. “The stripe didn’t come out the way we wanted to, and they’re looking today how to best repair that,” Fulop said at the Lake County Ohio Port & Economic Development Authority meeting March 23.

LCOPEDA took over the airport from the city of Willoughby in October 2014 and has made a number of improvements in that time, including the runway repairs as well as the installation of an Automated Weather Observation Station. The system allows the airport to track its own weather instead of relying on information from Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. The system measures wind direction, wind speed, wind gusts, barometric pressure, altimeter settings, temperature, dew point, visibility, sky condition, density, cloud ceiling height and precipitation.

Work on a new master plan also is underway. Input is being sought by both pilots and businesses for the plan. Surveys for both can be found under the Lost Nation Airport section of LCOPEDA’s website. The input from these groups will help “identify the airport’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities” and address future capital improvements needs. It will also help develop a customized plan to “benefit the airport’s users and surrounding community.”  Fulop said they are also seeking more feedback from the general public as to what direction they would like to see the airport go. Master plan meetings with the public are on the horizon, she said.

A pre-application has been submitted for the next round of grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. Fulop said they expect to receive about $166,000 from the FAA. Lost Nation would have to contribute $9,000 in matching funds to get the grant. With this round of funding, Fulop said they’re looking for snow-removal equipment. “The basis of what we’re looking for is a front-end loader with a blade, a large broom that sweeps and a second plow that can come with that,” she said. “There may be some room in there depending on how much the equipment costs and what our bids come in at to get some other implementations for it.” Fulop said they haven’t started taking bids on the project yet. “We’ve gathered the information on what companies fit the FAA’s ‘Buy American’ plan because those are the only ones we can accept,” she said. “Actually, the equipment we wanted didn’t fit in there, so we kind of have to look again.”