Pilots flying to the Ottawa Municipal Airport have a better shot at knowing the weather when they land with the help of an Automated Weather Observing System III set to be installed later this year, Jack Miller, chairman of the airport advisory board, said.

“Currently, the pilot flies directly to either Topeka or Olathe and hopes the weather is the same at our airport,” Miller said. “This will especially increase usage of the airport for commercial flight operations.”

The upgrade is expected precede the airport advisory board’s deliberation about adding 600 feet to the runway in the next five years, Miller said. Stretching the Ottawa Municipal Airport’s runway from 4,500 feet to 5,100 feet could accommodate larger aircrafts, he said.

Earlier this year, the city constructed 10 new hangars at the site, 2178 Montana Road. Miller said having 14 hangars now correlates to an increase in income from rentals and an increase in property value.

Flight training and air craft rentals by Hawkeye Helicopter/OWI, the airport’s fixed-based operator, has increased usage, Miller said. Other happenings include a breakfast fly-in for pilots on the third Saturday from May to October. Miller said he is also looking forward to possibly organizing an Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Safety Seminar.

Amelia Arvesen is a Herald staff writer. Email her at aarvesen@ottawaherald.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AmeliaArvesen.