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Newton airport plans improvements

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
July 27, 2001
NEWTON Officials here hope a new office for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics will bring additional funding for upgrades to the James Easom Field airport on Airport Road.
Tim Muse, city engineer for Newton, said 18 acres north of the airport runway were deeded to the bureau. The lot has been cleared and the bureau is expected to begin construction in November, he said.
Muse said said another airport goal is to build a longer runway. But, he said, "that's in the future and it's uncertain; they can operate with what we've got."
In the meantime, Muse said, work could begin in September on $340,000 in upgrades. The three-year project will be funded with $320,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration and $20,000 of in-kind services from Newton.
Improvements include removing trees and other obstructions from the side of the airport runway. Muse said he hopes the FAA will approve those plans by the end of the month.
Other improvements include overlaying the taxiway and existing access road, building additional parking spaces, grading runway protection zones and possibly installing security fencing.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.