June 12, 2021

Mallory Herrmann
Staff Reporter

The city has adopted an airport master plan that provides a roadmap to the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport’s next two decades.

The plan was presented by Andy Bodine, senior aviation planner with Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, a Kansas City, Missouri, engineering consultant.

Using 2019 data as a baseline – 2020 data was excluded due to the COVID-19 pandemic – to project demand for a variety of aircrafts, Bodine worked with the city’s public works department and a wide range of community stakeholders to evaluate potential airport needs. They prioritized issues based on the amount of earthwork required, the level of community engagement offered, the diversification of revenue streams, and the ability to leverage the east side of the facility. The west side of the airport is already fairly built out.

“It’s a matter of using the airport’s existing property to its highest and best use,” Bodine said.

The short-term priorities for the next five years include building east side utility infrastructure to allow further development, a new terminal building, and a new air traffic control tower.

The mid-term implementation plan calls for airfield lighting rehabilitation, a new community hangar, and construction of an airport rescue and firefighting building. Some corporate flight departments require the presence of such rescue facilities.

Long-term (or demand-driven) improvements include taxiway extension, ramp expansion, and an aircraft observation area.

Mayor Bill Baird inquired about the future of drone technology. While that isn’t currently part of the master plan, Bodine said, an urban air mobility plan could be included in the plan’s second phase. Phase II of the master plan is expected to be complete in the fall of 2022.

The city council voted unanimously to adopt the airport master plan at their June 8 meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Beto Lopez and Councilmember Diane Forte were absent.