- Associated Press - Friday, January 25, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Aircraft from Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base will start flying out of Lincoln Airport by the end of the year so the base’s runway can be replaced.

The Lincoln Airport Authority approved an initial agreement on Thursday that gives the Air Force access to its facilities, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.

The airport will serve as a temporary home for the 55th Wing, which conducts intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic attack missions. Its fleet includes observation aircraft, atmosphere collection aircraft and electronic intelligence collection aircraft.

The airport will need to make some adjustments to accommodate aircraft from Offutt, which is south of Omaha. Changes include updating a former maintenance hangar to house larger military aircraft and repairs to part of the tarmac.

Details of the improvements are still being worked out, but the Air Force will fund the upgrades, said Airport Executive Director David Haring.

The secretary of the Air Force recently approved Offutt’s runway replacement project and the “dominoes have started to fall” in the process to get the project started, said Lt. Col. Vance Goodfellow, deputy commander of the 55th Wing’s Mission Support Group.

The Air Force base began pushing for improvements two years ago. Base officials said in 2017 that about a quarter of the runway was in poor condition. The runway has been frequently patched but never completely rebuilt since it was constructed in 1941.

The runway replacement project will cost an estimated $100 million. Construction is expected to take about a year to complete.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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