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The University of Central Missouri has adopted a 20-year master plan for development of the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport to better meet academic and public aviation needs, while also contributing to local economic growth. The plan includes improving the airport infrastructure, expanding the runway to accommodate small jet aircraft, relocating and building a new terminal that will serve educational and community needs, and installing new hangars. The university also hopes to establish a new Innovation Park on airport property, which would include as its centerpiece the Center for Aviation Education, Training and Business.
UCM received $1,014,300 in fiscal year 2008 funding from the federal Omnibus appropriations bill, designated for updating and expanding the runway and facilities at the airport. UCM also was awarded a $1.35 million Statewide Transportation Improvement Program grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation for grading needed to develop a new hangar area north of the existing airport terminal and grading a north-south access road leading to that area and extending to the future site of the new terminal. The university purchased two parcels of property – a total of 36.4 acres - located on the south side of Highway 50 and south of the airport. MoDOT provided 90 percent of the funding for the pruchase, which will enable the airport to meet federal aviation requirements regarding compatible land use and provide a runway protection or safety zone for landing and departing aircraft.
Design is also underway for a new terminal building. The university will seek private and corporate support for additional airport projects. Individuals who have questions about fundraising activities should call the UCM Foundation at 660-543-8000.