Runway

The runway at Cy Nunnally Memorial Airport is seen in an approach from a Cessna on Aug. 1, 2019, in Monroe, Ga.

The Cy Nunnally Memorial Airport in Monroe is scheduled to close for 28 days next month so its runway can be rehabilitated, thereby extending the life of the runway, according to city officials.

The city posted a notice to social media and the city’s official website reminding residents the 3-4 week closure will begin in early April and extend into May. The airport will then close sporadically for 2-3 more weeks to allow for “testing and permanent striping.” The project should take 6-8 weeks to complete, dependent on weather and other external factors like the coronavirus pandemic.

The $888,888 project is funded primarily through a state grant, with the city picking up $44,444, or 5%, of the cost.

A Feb. 10 letter the city sent to airport patrons stated the city would not be “collecting payments for hangar rentals, tie-down rentals, ground leases or hangar leases for the months of April, May and June.”

“From a revenue standpoint for businesses, this will not provide a reimbursement, but a forgiveness of those expenses to the city,” the letter reads. “The city will also suffer lost revenue during this period of approximately $45,000 from lease agreements, rents and fuel sales; while also providing for the funding of the project.”

“The runway is being rehabbed for the same reasons any pavement would be; deterioration or subsequent failure of existing asphalt,” Assistant City Manager and Airport Manager Chris Bailey explained. “There is currently more notable deterioration on the last third of runway 21 that helped to qualify the runway for grant funding and assistance of repair instead of simple crack seal and patching.”

Cy Nunnally is classified as a “business level 2” airport. The runway is “just over” 5,000 feet long, according to Bailey.

The airport caters to an average of 30 aircraft, according to AirNav.com. The website states of the 30 airplanes based on the field, 27 are single engine planes, one is a multiengine and two are gliders. Of average airport operations conducted during 2018, 77% was local general aviation and 23% was transient general aviation.

“This will simply be one of many projects that make the airport more attractive to potential future tenants and add value for existing tenants,” Bailey said. “It also adds to the safety component of the airport which is the primary focus of the city.”

The airport has been undergoing numerous improvements over the past five years, according to the assistant city manager.

“The airport has seen the additions of an Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), a 10,000-gallon 100LL Avgas Fuel Farm, completed fencing around the perimeter of the property, the repair and line relocation of Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights, updates to the Airport Layout Plan (ALP), east apron rehabilitation and expansion to add additional tie-down spaces, a reroute of the west taxi lane, multiple hangar repair projects, hangar site ready projects, updates to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) plans and now the rehabilitation of the runway,” Bailey said. “These projects have totaled approximately $3,150,000 with a total of $750,000 being the responsibility of the city, and the remainder coming from state and federal grants. The city continues to maintain an evolving Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that is filed and updated yearly with the state.”

Cy Nunnally is a municipal airport and as such it is supported by taxpayer dollars. The Georgia Department of Transportation’s aviation division and the Federal Aviation Administration govern the city’s airport, according to Bailey.

“Grants for projects typically cover approximately 75%-95% of project costs when they are associated with the Capital Improvement Plan,” he said. “CIP lists are submitted through the state by end of November each calendar year. The overall benefit of this project to Monroe and Walton County is the extension of useful life of the runway, thus the airport. It’s the same as paving a road; it extends the useful life and provides for safer travels.”

Bailey confirmed the airport did not experience a decline in usage due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

“Fuel sales during the year increased by approximately 10% over previous years, as did the desire of private parties to build hangars for the storage and home basing of aircraft,” he said.

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