Cleveland Jetport: Runway nears completion, terminal not ready
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Sep 16, 2012 | 2411 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The runway at Cleveland Regional Jetport at 251 Dry Valley Road, is about half done. A slip-form paver lays a strip of concrete 36-foot wide and 11-inch thick on the right.  The strip in the middle of the photo will be the final section of the 5,500-foot runway. Banner photos, DAVID DAVIS
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The runway at Cleveland Regional Jetport will be finished in about a week barring any unforeseen events, but the terminal building will not be ready for a November opening.

Cleveland Regional Jetport Director of Operations Mark Fidler said Friday the runway, runway lighting and floor of the storage hangar are about 50 percent complete.

“We’re half done in a lot of respects,” Fidler said. “The apron will be done. The runway will be done and then they will start on the taxiways and connectors. I wouldn’t say the terminal building is halfway done.”

He said the November opening of the new general aviation facility at 251 Dry Valley Road will likely be pushed back from November to the second week of December.

Former assistant public works director Gloria Malone, who retired from city employment and now works for PDC Consultants until the airport is completed, said Cleveland needs the new airport.

“I don’t think people realize how it will impact the community economically,” she said. “I want to see people just come and visit.”

Malone said she hopes school children will come to the airport on field trips to learn about airport operations and maybe spark their interest in aviation.

“There is a shortage of pilots because a lot of them are retiring,” she said.

J&J Construction of Chattanooga is building the 8,000-square-foot terminal building. The total bid of $2.412 million to construct the terminal area was divided into three categories: site preparation, security and the terminal building itself.

Site preparation and security are are funded through grants. The terminal building, which came in at slightly less than $1.9 million, is funded by the state and the city up to $700,000 each.

The Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority contracted Bill Allen to help raise the remainder through private donations.

Allen was contracted by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce in 2009 to raise $1.75 million for its four-year economic development action plan dubbed “Compass Campaign: Charting Our Future.”

A VIP tour for potential donors is scheduled for Wednesday.