Local News

Trees axed to meet FAA regulation

The Hebron Airport Authority is closing in on the finish of a lengthy project that required the removal of hundreds of trees along Spring Creek at the southeast edge of Hebron. The trees obstructed FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) clearance regulations, said longtime Airport Authority member Marlowe Huber. “We didn’t have proper clearance for the approach surface, so we needed to remove the trees.”

The approach surface is the imaginary sloping plan beginning at the end of a runway or landing strip and rising uniformly over the approach area at the required slope. For the Hebron Airport, a 20:1 slope is required, meaning the line of approach must rise one foot above the ground for every 20 feet out from the runway.

Huber said the project is being funded with a federal grant acquired in 2006 by the late Clarence McGhghy. “The grant pays for 90 percent of the project,” he said, “and the Authority takes care of the rest.”

The Hebron Airport offers aviation fuel, aircraft parking, hangars, a pilot’s lounge/snooze room and restrooms to those who aviate. Larger craft, such as a King Air, are often seen using the facility these days, Huber said.

Bringing the airport’s clearance standards up-to-date is part of an ongoing list of improvements the Authority has been working on for several years. A new hangar and fuel storage are next on the agenda, Huber said of the group’s future plans. Extending the runway also appears on the task list, but Huber said that project is at least three to five years away.

The Hebron Airport Authority is presided over by Bill Linton. Jay Huhmann and Andrew Fangmeier were recently appointed to fill vacancies in the group.

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