2008-07-30 / Local News

Demonstration fuel facility project accelerated

By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

Learning the ropes Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser, county highway superintendent Ron Francis and airport board member Terry Dill listened intently to an Aug. 23 morning presentation by the American Paving Association. The paving group hosted an open house at the airport to demonstrate the concrete overlay process to interested participants. Comet photo by Debbie Lowe Learning the ropes Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser, county highway superintendent Ron Francis and airport board member Terry Dill listened intently to an Aug. 23 morning presentation by the American Paving Association. The paving group hosted an open house at the airport to demonstrate the concrete overlay process to interested participants. Comet photo by Debbie Lowe Plans to build a facility at Delphi Municipal Airport to demonstrate a new aviation fuel have been accelerated by project planners.

According to airport manager and Swift Fuel representative Brian Stirm, Swift officials and Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser have been meeting to bring a 10,000 square foot building, which would include a hangar and conference rooms, plus a 2,500 square foot pilot plant to the airport grounds in about a year. The pilot plant will be used to demonstrate to potential licensees how a larger plant would be built.

Stirm said Swift representatives will present a rendering of the proposed construction at the August airport board meeting.

Stirm added the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed an analysis of the aviation fuel developed by Swift and there were no problems noted. He said the new fuel performed two horsepower lower at full throttle than 100 low-lead fuel, commonly referred to as "aviation fuel."

"They're real pleased with it," he said.

Stirm said the FAA did not test the fuel for emissions. A public report is expected within the week. He said the FAA fuel approval board is expected to vote on the renewable source fuel in June 2009.

Concrete pavers open house

The American Concrete Pavement Association held an open house at the airport last Wednesday to educate visitors and demonstrate the concrete overlay project on the runway currently underway. Representatives from several paving companies as well as Carroll County Highway Superintendent Ron Francis and Tippecanoe County Highway Department representatives were educated about the benefits of using concrete rather than asphalt for paving projects.

According to Stirm between 40 and 50 individuals attended the information session.

Airport engineer Ken Ross said the overlay project is expected to be completed the first full week of August, well ahead of schedule. He presented a discount check from his engineering firm, NCG Engineering, for $1,740 to the board. According to Ross, the city is awarded the savings when due to timely payment of invoices.

The board unanimously approved the contract for $90,000 with NCG for the current runway renovation project.

Ross said NCG intended to compensate E&B Paving for amending their paving plan for the Wednesday open house. He said the original plan was to pave at the south end of the runway that day. However it was more desirable for the demonstration to be in an area where there was less runway damage.

Other business

Airport board members discussed developing a monthly financial report as well as the establishment of a dedicated fund in which airport income would be directly deposited. Currently income is deposited into the city's general fund when received by Delphi Clerk Treasurer Janice Roe. The city council appropriates funding for expenses from the general fund annually.

A second telephone line will be added to the airport to accommodate the fuel program. The line, added to the commercial line currently in place for $47 per month, will cost approximately $17 each month and is needed to allow the fuel computer at the airport to share information with the distributor.

It was decided to establish a use policy for airport occupants. Currently there are no restrictions about how the long-term lease holders use hangars.

The next board meeting will be Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.

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