Rapid City Regional Airport gets $500,000 of fuel-tax money to use for master-plan update

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Aeronautics Commission will let Rapid City Regional Airport take $500,000 of the money that’s been collected from state taxes on aircraft fuel sold there.

The money will be used to help pay for updating the airport’s master plan. according to a letter to the commission.

Approval came on a voice vote. No opposition was heard from any of the five commission members at the table.

The Federal Aviation Administration in 2018 approved the current master plan that was supposed to cover the airport to 2035.

Airport executive director Patrick Dame said Rapid City has direct flights to an increasing number of cities.

“We think it’s very important we stay planned,” Dame told Aeronautics Commission members Thursday. The update will cost about $625,000, according to the latest estimate, and isn’t eligible for federal help.

Dame said expanding the terminal that passengers use for commercial flights will affect the runway and the tower. The Bismarck, North Dakota, airport is spending about $1 million for its new master plan, he said.

“We will be growing dramatically over the next 10 years,” Dame explained. He added, “This is going forward to deal with the growth we have had.”

The runway is nearly 30 years old, according to Dame.

State Representative David Johnson of Rapid City participated by telephone. Johnson, a pilot, said he supported the project “100 percent.”

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