MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Additional improvements are in store for Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport. 

City councilors awarded a $138,000 contract that will accommodate the installation of an omni-directional approach lighting system that "will improve visibility for pilots during low-light conditions or inclement weather." 

Assistant City Manager Gary Garvin described the addition of the runway approach lighting system as "a great opportunity to improve our airport's safety and accessibility." The contract requires Olsson Inc. to provide design, bidding, construction and grant services for the project, 90% of which will be paid with Federal Aviation Administration Airfield Improvement Program funds. 

The balance will be paid from fiscal year 2020 capital improvement project funds. Anticipated completion date is February 2021. 

City councilors also expressed support for the Oklahoma Army National Guard and its proposed relocation of the state's Air Traffic Services Unit to Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport. The unit, which Garvin said is made up of about 75 soldiers, has trained at the airport periodically since 2014 pursuant to an agreement. 

"This would not only benefit them, it would benefit Muskogee Reserves Center," Garvin said. "This would allow full-time training of 75 soldiers who would be here in town, shopping, eating and getting different services."

Ward IV Councilor Wayne Johnson said when the unit has trained here in the past, "it has had a tremendous impact on our community financially."

"Having the temporary air traffic control out there has increased our traffic, which helps with our numbers for the FAA — it's just had an enormous impact," Johnson said. "Having this permanently would be just another feather in our hat." 

There was no indication Wednesday when a decision about the proposed relocation might be made.

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