BG/WC Airport Relocation?

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Last fall the Federal Aviation Administration recieved a Congressional order to make sure all airports fit their guidelines of having runway safety areas.

That means there needs to be open areas at all ends of the runways without anything in them just in case an airplane ends up in this area.

Following this announcement the Bowling Green/Warren County Regional Airport found out the current airport doesn't meet those guidelines and changes must be made.

"We've realized this for some time. This particular property, this location we're at now is entirely encircled with development and with the future development such as Lovers Lane being developed soon, Scottsville Road being busy, and the residential areas around this area, we've been talking about relocating for quite some time", says airport manager Rob Barnett.

When the airport was first built 78 years ago, there wasn't much development along the Scottsville Road area, but now businesses are everywhere.

The only two options the airport has now is to stay in the same location and add safety zones, moving the businesses, residential areas, and restaurants that are currently in the zones, or to relocate.

The area being considered for a new airport is located nearly 9 miles northeast of Bowling Green around the Transpark area.

The cost to relocate is $61,714,000 dollars, and the cost for the airport to keep it's current location and add the necessary safety zones...would cost $90,867,000.

"It is a safety issue and we need to be planning for the future. The last thing we want to happen is an accident in one of those congested areas", says Barnett.

Which is why at this time Barnett says keeping the airport where it is may not be the best option. As Bowling Green's community continues to grow a decision must now be made on whether or not the airport will stay where it is, or be moved to a new location.

"Our airport board always looks our for the community, our neighbors, and that nature, so obviously I think the best option is relocation."

If the FAA accepts the airport's report to move locations, the next step of the relocation process will be an Environmental Impact Study that typically takes two to three years. If you then add in the time to construct a new airport, it will be a total of nearly five to seven years before a new airport will be ready if they end up relocating.