Following an environmental assessment, which was conducted as part of the development of a master plan and subsequently identified 1,200 obstructions at the Junction City airport, the Federal Aviation Administration has required the city to hire an airport consultant.

Ray Ibarra, director of Public Works said the FAA requires airports to develop a master plan about every five years. In 2018 Junction City hired the Alfred Benesch company to develop the master plan, which it finished in August.

“What (the master plan) does is, it tells what you plan to do with the airport — the improvements you're going to make any kind of deficiencies that need to be … to corrected, those type of things,” he said. “You have a layout of want to do for the next five years, … if you have obstructions, what are you going to do to remove those obstructions?”

After they identified the obstructions, the environmental assessment gauged how the work to mitigate those issues could interfere with nature, waterways, wildlife and residents in the area.

“For instance, if trees happen to be (an obstruction), which it is at this airport, if we cut all those trees down, how's that going affect those people that are living on the other side of those trees?” he said. “So, we have to do the environmental assessment to see what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.”

As the Alfred Benesch prepared to close out the assessment the FAA informed them the city would need to hire a consultant to guide them through the work over the next five years.

After they hire the consultant the first project Ibarra said they will tackle is the relocation of powerlines to underground and the removal of trees.

“(The consultant) will help us draw up the preliminary bid document and specifications for that project,” he said. “Obstruction removal is the first thing we'll go after.”

Other projects in the five-year plan include rehabilitate and reconstruct taxiway and apron, reconstruct the airport beacon and acquire land for approaches and for obstruction mitigation.

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