Airport master plan - Purdue Exponent: Campus

5/21/14 Purdue airport master plan

Airport master plan

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Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:00 am | Updated: 10:10 am, Wed May 21, 2014.

Three more aircraft hangars may be built on the east side of the Purdue airport, according to the Purdue airport master plan.

Purdue's 20 year airport master plan includes multiple runway renovations, seeking to enhance flight experience and convenience for the student pilots. An informational meeting was held Monday afternoon in the terminal lobby, allowing visitors to ask questions and offer feedbacks.

Purdue has hired Woolpert, a design and infrastructure company based in Indianapolis, to execute the plan which includes alternatives for the extra hangars and taxiway additions.

Betty Stansbury, the airport director of Purdue Airport, has been accepting public comments and offers. Many student pilots have already voiced their takes on the plan.

"They (student pilots) are the largest user(s) of the airport, so that really is the reason why we are here," said Stansbury. "We try to incorporate their ideas into the plan."

The airport currently has two runways, primary (10-28) and crosswind (5-23), which are used in both Purdue's flight program and Lafayette Aviation - a local full service fixed base operation. Terminals and hangars of Purdue and Lafayette Aviation are all grouped within the north part of the airport.

One of the potential revisions is one addition of an extra taxiway off the crosswind runway, which is often used by student pilots flying smaller planes like Cirrus SR20's. An addition of taxiway B-3 will allow pilots to turn off the runway before having to reach the end of the runway to make the U-turn and head back to the hangars. This will not only reduce time traffic flow, but also increase fuel efficiency.

Dane Ezernack, a junior in the College of Technology, is a frequent user of the crosswind runway.

"I think it is worth the investment," said Ezernack. "Having to extend your ground roll and having to cross a runway is a bit of a danger."

Air traffic controllers may benefit from the master plan as well, as the new taxiway would reduce traffic flow.

"The faster you're off the runway the less strain you place on tower," said Ezernack.

Another portion of the master plan includes evaluating and updating the instrumental landing system, an avionic utility that helps aid the pilots while landing in poor weather. Christopher Snyder, the senior associate of Woolpert, said the landing system is a higher priority within the master plan.

"(Providing instrumental systems) will increase the utility of the airport," said Snyder. "What it reduces is the need for the pilot to have to go to another airport, which has happened."

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