The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas on October 3, 1971 · Page 23
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The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas · Page 23

Hutchinson, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 3, 1971
Page 23
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Meeting Airport Standards Will Cost Cities a Million By LEW FERGUSON Associated Press Writer TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Seven Kansas cities—including the state capital—are in danger of losing airline passenger service if they don't upgrade their airport facilities to meet new federal safety requirements scheduled to go into effect in less than eight months. The upgrading task will cost at least $1 million in Kansas, and the cities don't know where they'll get the money. Most are aware of the situation and have started working to meet the deadline. But a couple are lagging, including Topeka, the state's third largest city. To Increase Safety The new regulations grew out of the Airport and Airways Development Act passed by Congress in 1970 on the heels of pressure brought by the airlines and the Airline Pilots Association to make the nation's airports safe. The act directed the Federal Aviation Administration to hold hearings and draw up rules and resolutions to certify airports serving regularly-scheduled airlines. The FAA drafted the regulations, which become effective May 21, 1972, as the law now stands. In Kansas, nine airports serve regular commercial airlines—Wichita, Topeka, Salina, Manhattan, Tri-Cities Airport at Parsons, Garden City, Liberal, Goodland and Hays. Finnish Spoken Here STOCKHOLM (AP) - Traveling through the northernmost part of Sweden towards Finland you might suddenly become aware the Swedish language no longer takes you anywhere. The border still is some 60 miles away but you realize you have already crossed the invisible line between the last Swedish country district and the Uralio world. During the winter months, the sun never really rises up here, it just lingers as a gray dawn below the horizon. The temperature can go down to 40 degrees below zero. Dark fir forests cover much of the area. In this setting, the language is Finnish, with no likeness or kinship to Swedish. The area, whose Swedish name is Tor nedalen is slightly larger than Denmark. Its population is about 50,000-mostly Finns. Learn Swedish Few Tornedalings can write or read their own tongue. The reason is that at school they learn to write and read Swedish. In fact, all instruction is in Swedish. Nevertheless, Finnish is what the people speak. There was a time when It was forbidden for the children of Tornedalen's gray timber houses to speak Finnish at school. Rewards were given to those who had spoken only Swedish during the breaks. As late as in the 1940's, children in the working huts, where the poor got food and clothing, qot no dinner if they had spoken Finnish with each other. Tornedalings who went to school during the former half of this century say their teachers not only told them to speak Swedish at school or forbade the use of their mother tongue there but also told them to speak Swedish at home. The reason for this policy has been a wish to distribute "the language and culture of the homeland" among the Finns and the belief that Swedish was their "proper" tongue. Learn Right Language The official Finnish Districts Investigation in 1921 stated "Now these young people learn their fathers' right language at school" (the said fathers never spoke it), and in 1961, a magazine declared: "The children cannot speak their own tongue when they start school, they speak Finnish." Many Tornedalings have unconsciously adopted the Swedish authorities' views. Some people say, with a strong Finnish accent, that Swedish is their mother tongue. The language question is loaded with emotions. In 1964 a lecture on it could not be announced publicly but was held in secret. Some 15 year earlier a Swedish woman from the area sought a divorce because her husband had not told her he' could speak Finnish. When girls go to outdoor dances in the midnight sun they put on Swedish together with clips and hairspray. The boys reply In Finnish. , Nationally, 530 airports must be certified by next May—unless Congress acts to extend the deadline—at an upgrading cost estimated at $80 million. Ray Arvin, head of the Aviation Division of the Kansas Department of Economic Development, has been at work to get the cities active in moving toward upgrading their facilities so they will meet certification requirements and retain airline service. Salina Airport Okay Arvin said only the Salina airport, at the moment, meets all the requirements and can be certified immediately. Wichita, he said, will meet the requirements, but it will cost the state's largest city "several hundred thousand dollars" to do it. The other seven airports are in difficulty, Arvin believes, unless Congress both softens the requirements and extends the deadline. An effort is under way to get Congress to extend the deadline one year—until May 1973. "I don't think there is any way the other seven can do it," Arvin said in an interview, "because they don't have the money." The equipment alone which the airports at Topeka, Manhattan, Tri-Cities, Garden City, Liberal, Goodland and Hays will be required to add will cost an estimated $400,000. Add to that Wichita's equipment costs, buildings to house the new equipment, other improvements and salaries of additional personnel being required, and the total bill comes to a conservative estimate of $1 million, Arvin said. The essential requirements of the certification program include: —Pavement areas, including runways, ramps, aprons, etc., must be maintained at the optimum level at all times, meaning repairs will have to be made constantly and no dete- rioaration of survaces allowed. —Safety areas, such as crosswind runways, will have to be maintained at the same grade level as main runways. The Hays airport, for example, has a crosswind runway which drops off several inches from the level of the main runway, Arvin said. Lighting of Runways —Marking and lighting of runways must be upgraded, with all runways, taxiways and aprons marked and lighted. In the past, most airports- except Wichita and Topeka — have had only the main runway marked and lighted. —Airports must have an maintain fire and rescue equipment at the airport — not just relying on the cities' equipment at a fire station somewhere else. This is the item causing most concern, since only Salina at the present has this equipment at its airport. Arvin said it is understood that this equipment may be contained in one vehicle, a fire rescue truck capable of carrying 500 pounds of dry chemical or 450 pounds of the chemical and 50 pounds of water. And, this vehicle must be manned at all times by qualified personnel. —Airports must draft and submit to the federal government plans on how they will meet all forms of emergenices, natural and accidential. ""The airports must set up and continue self-inspection programs, including a daily inspection of safety conditions by the airport management. —All airports without control towers (Wichita, Topeka, Salina and Hutchinson have them) will have to provide lighting for all traffic and wind indicators. The airports with control towers must provide all ground vehicles with two-day radios so the tower can advise them when they can and can't get on runways. Chain Link Fencing —Airports must have chain link fencing ropped by barbed 1 1 W W SF "ta HUTCHINSON MUNICIPAL airport could meet requirements. RIDE ON... with the lowest auto loan rates in town. and gas for the first 300 miles is on us. You couldn't pick a better time to buy. 1972 cars have 1971 price tags. They're frozen there, temporarily. If you buy now, you can own next year's car at this year's prices. free gas offer We'll give everyone who finances a new or used car with us (of over a $1,000) a check for 20 gallons of gas. . . FREE ... to say thank you for being a customer. So the first 300 miles are on us. If you buy that import you might even get 500 miles on us. Just stop by or call the F & M Bank for a car loan. We'll probably say yes. Take advantage of our voluntary rate freeze with an auto loan from F & M Bank with the same low rate ... we haven't raised it since 1966. (Now 6tated as 8.41% annual percentage rate on all new cars or trucks). farmers * merchants 662-4479 SOUTH HUTCHINSON MEMBER F.D.I.C. 662-4479 wire around all areas where aircraft operate to keep out the public. —Clear markings must be set up and maintained any time there is any construction on the airport grounds. —All bird hazards must be eliminated, which Arvin said could be a problem at some Kansas airports. —All naviagational aids must be protected against valdalism and theft, probably by fencing them in. Airports also can no longer "serve as junkyards," in Arvin's terminology, by having trash and junked vehicles abandoned near them. He said Kansas airports are in pretty good shape in this regard, except for the Manhattan airport, which he said "has been deplorable" in its housekeeping. Manhattan is working to correct the situation, he added. Arvin already has met with city officials of Hays, Liberal and Goodland to outline what must be done to meet the requirements, and also met with a special task force appointed by Manhattan city offiicials. He has a meeting yet with representatives of Parsons, Coffeyville and Independence Oct. 11 in Independence to discuss the situation at Tri-Cities Airport. Arvin said Topeka Mayor Bill McCormick has turned the matter over to an Airport Advisory Board, which has not replied to Arvin's inquiry into what the capital city might want to do. And, he has had no inquiries at all from Garden City. Not Applicable Here Hutchinson, which is served by Air Midwest under a Frontier Airlines certificate, may not have to comply, Arvin said. But Hutchinson may want to prepare itself for certification, he added. Topeka lacks fire and rescue equipment, and Arvin expressed concern that the capital city may be under estimating the resolve of the federal government to put the requirements into effect. "Topeka lacks a sense of direction on how important this airport is to the city," Arvin said. "I think there are people in the city who recognize this, but it has to come from the city government, because it has the money." The federal government, under the 1970 act, will finance half of the cost of buying fire rescue equipment, with the 5050 matching funds made available under a trust fund set up in the act from user contribu- Hutchinson Exempt Airline passenger service in Hutchinson is in no danger of being grounded unless the city loses Air Midwest and service here is provided by an airline, such as Frontier, using larger aircraft. Ray Arvin, head of the Aviation Division of the Kansas Department of Economic Development, says that because Air Midwest flies smaller craft (15 passenger maximum) Hutchinson's airport does not need to be certified and therefore is not required to meet new federal standards. Could Meet Standards City Manager George Pyle says even if the city did have to meet the requirements it could do so as easily (and easier in some cases) as those Kansas airports that must comply. "We have above average facilities, and service, for a town this size," Pyle says. He points out also that many larger airports do not have the instrument landing system (ILS) that the local airport has. This allows planes to make controlled landings under certain weather and runway conditions that would hamper the pilot. Hutchinson falls short of the standards in one area — firefighting equipment at the airport. The nearest fire station to the airport is located in the 1800 block of East 4th, 4-5 minutes away from the facility. Pyle notes, however, that when the new fire station is built at 11th and Halstead, a mile west of the airport, firemen could be on the scene of an airport emergency in less than two minutes. He said to construct a station on the airport would take roughly $75,000 for the building and another $50,000 annually for personnel. Chain link fencing topped by barbed wire would also have to be put up around all areas of aircraft operation for the municipal airport to be up to par with the new standards. Page 24 The Hutchinson Newt Sunday, October 3,1971 tions from the aviation community. Sens. James B. Pearson of Kansas and Howard Baker of Tennessee have an amendment to the act prepared for introduction in Congress which will raise the federal contribution to 82 per cent from the present 50. The amendment to the act prepared for introduction in Congress which will raise the federal con- tricution to 82 per cent from the present 50. The amendment, which has a dozen cosponsors, will mean $280 million in the trust fund now, plus provide for $250 million a year in the future, Pearson said. No Funds for Personnel However, this money is available only to reimburse cities which purchased safety equipment after May 21, 1970, and is not available to pay for the salaries of personnel to man the equipment. If the amendment passes, Arvin said, cities "will have a much better chance of meeting the financing." Congress seems adamant that the program will go into effect either in 1972 or 1973, however, Pearson told Kansans on a trip to the state last weekend. "Hopefully," Arvin said, "the FAA will alter the fire and rescue requirements in some way. We're also hopeful we can get it postponed a year at least. "Hopefully, none of the Kansas airports will have to close. But I think if this must be implemented by May 1972 as scheduled, it will be very difficult for most of these communities to meet the deadline. "I'm afraid, at the moment, some of them will be closed in May 1972 if they don't come up with the money. 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