The City of Ottawa approved a new eight-year plan which will design and perform upgrades to Ottawa Municipal Airport, 2178 Montana Road.

The City Commission at its Feb. 7 meeting approved the capital improvement plan and agreed to hire a consultant firm to help with the process.

Michael Haeffele, public works director, told commissioners the Federal Aviation Administration will fund the projects, but require both a master plan and a capital improvement plan to move forward.

The approved capital improvement plan includes a current project underway to improve runway lighting.

In 2019, the airport will undertake a power line obstruction removal project. Following that, work will begin to do an environmental assessment and land acquisition to being the process of extending the runway.

Three bids were considered to guide the city through the process and after consideration by a committee, Alfred Benesch and Co. was chosen. Haeffele said the company has a relationship with the city currently and helped develop the airport’s master plan. He went on to say that the consultant and the projects will only be funded if the FAA has the money.

“They act as consultants as we get funding,” he said. “As we do projects through the funding we get through the FAA, they (the consultants) get paid. If the FAA comes down and says we don’t have the money to fund these projects, then we can’t move forward because the city doesn’t have the funds to do the projects.”