Branson West airport taking shape

by Linda Russell, KY3 News

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By James Holmes

Branson West, Mo. -- There's another big addition coming to the Branson area. Plans are in store for another airport. We just saw the opening of the Branson Airport and a new terminal for the Springfield-Branson National Airport, but yet another airport is getting ready for an opening this year.

The new airport belongs to Branson West. It's been planned for years, so it's been a long wait, but city officials say it should be ready for planes by the end of 2009. The airport was made possible by a $16 million federal grant, and the 200 acres of land was donated by the Conco company.

Construction started about a year and a half ago, and it's almost ready for paving. The airport will have a terminal building, maintenance hanger, as well as rental hangers with room for dozens of planes. It will be a general aviation airport for private and charter aircraft, and city officials think it will be good not only for tourism to the

John Rhodes, Branson West Mayor, says, "We see the advantage of having an airport like this, a general aviation airport; it's a magnet to bring in small industry and that kind of thing to provide jobs for those in the area, and that's our real driving point is to accomplish that."

The paving should begin soon, and as far as the buildings to be constructed on the site, the bidding process should start, hopefully, by mid-July. They hope to be open by late November. Rhodes says the airport wont' really be in competition with the new Branson Airport because they are different types of airports- the Branson Airport is primarily for commercial flights, while this is for general aviation.

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