Lakeland Linder projects minimal noise increase with proposed facilities expansion

Lakeland Linder International Airport officials are seeking the public's input on a proposed expansion project.

Two new facilities, including one for maintenance, would sit on the northeast section of the airport.

Airport officials are proposing the development of a four-bay maintenance repair and overhaul facility for their commercial aircraft.

The airport's Director, Kris Hallstrand, says this facility is needed to keep up with a fast-growing city.

"We are constantly looking at ways to provide more jobs for the community. This could be 150 to 225 jobs within five years," said Hallstrand. "They're high-skill, high wage. It's a way to keep our community going."

With this project, there will be more jet traffic in and out of the airport. They're projecting about 25 more aircraft per year, but Hallstrand says it will have minimal impact.

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Their studies have shown there will be a .07% increase in noise.

"We are working with the community to minimize noise the best we can," said Hallstrand. "We are an airport. We don't have vertical takeoff yet on these large aircrafts, so there is going to be noise over the community. It is minimal, however it is there."

They're also proposing a Medevac Helicopter Facility for air ambulances or helicopters.

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"We don't have anything here in Lakeland that's based here and this will provide a better level of options and transportation during a time of need that will help our community and the surrounding area as well and we want to be a part of that."

The proposed facilities would cost around $60 million of investment in addition to $6 million of infrastructure work that includes shortening an existing runway.

The city is getting community feedback at a public meeting Tuesday at the airport's terminal building at Don Emerson Drive.

The FAA will review the public comments and will determine if the project is in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act.

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