At the February 23 Kanab City Council meeting, Hilary Fletcher, of the firm, Jviation, updated the council on the Kanab Municipal Airport Master Plan. Fletcher stated that the airport’s 6189 foot long runway could accommodate aircraft with a wingspan of 115 feet, which includes medium sized jets and turbo-prop airplanes like the Gulfstream 650.

Presently there are 16 planes and one helicopter based at the airport. But the small segment aircraft operations (an operation is a take-off or landing) are not growing significantly, and have declined to about one third the level of the 2006 peak of nearly 10,000. That amount was largely due to a Kanab-based commercial air tour operation.

However, operations by business affiliated planes have been increasing, and with increased tourism, the development of a convention center, and the impact of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary on visitation to Kanab, the council felt a high growth rate of 1.7 percent would better reflect the airport’s potential, than the status quo growth rate of about 3,000 operations per year predicted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Fletcher stated the FAA focuses on hard data and not the idea of “if they build it, they will come” philosophy. She also pointed out that planning for additional airplane hangers should be undertaken in the near future. Development of commercial space in the southeast corner of the airport grounds should also be considered at some time, although she warned any buildings there must be leased at fair market value.

RBI Contracting (Ray Brothers), out of Kanab, was awarded the contract to construct the new Kanab Airport terminal building with a bid of $348,619, which was $20,000 under five other bidders. The city would like the new terminal operational by October 1, to accommodate the Remote Control Fly-in scheduled for that weekend.

The council also approved an agreement with AVFUEL to supply aviation grade fuel to the airport. According to Airport Manager Jeff Turner, the previous supplier’s fuel had the de-icing component added by the transport company, which produced a mixed level of de-icer in the fuel mixture shipments. AVFUEL will mix in the de-icer at their plant before shipping to assure adequate levels in the fuel. They will also sell this fuel to Kanab at a lower price and with cheaper transportation costs from Phoenix.

Turner also reported the city purchased a newer fuel truck, which had recently been inspected and certified for the price of $3,000, from the Moab Airport. He said the previous truck had well over that amount in maintenance requirements to be done, plus the tank was 30 years older than the 1998 tank on the new truck. The 2800-gallon fuel truck is used to fuel jets on the runway. A new 10,000-gallon fixed tank is in the works to replace the current 5,000-gallon tank and allow the airport to purchase more fuel at a time, further lowering the cost.

City Manager Joe Decker scored a significant savings to the city by working through Utah State Contracting to purchase a new John Deere 544K front endloader through Honnen Equipment of St. George. The deal specifies a price of $126,561, and allows the city to sell the loader back to Honnen at the end of one year for $149,000. It allows for 300 hours of operation, with any time over that billed at $30 per hour. Decker said he reviewed this deal several times before he could believe it. Utah State Contracting works directly with John Deere and offers some great deals to municipalities.

The council approved a $196,146 road project along 100 South from 100 East (Hwy 89) to 200 East to include curb and gutter on both sides of the street and a sidewalk along the south side. This project correlates with the Hampton Inn frontage on 100 South, who will contribute to the cost. It will also serve to channel storm water run-off to the drains along the highway.  Ramsay’s indicated they will repave their parking lot along 100 South. Homeowners along the 100 South block are being asked to fund half the cost of the curb and gutter portion of the project at the rate of $9.50 per linear foot of street frontage, averaging $2800 per residence. The city’s portion would be funded by Class C state road funds and city impact fees.