• September 16, 2014

Council approves security upgrades to Killeen airport

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 4:17 pm, Wed Feb 19, 2014.

The Killeen City Council unanimously approved a resolution to move forward with security upgrades at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport and in the development of a master plan for Skylark Field.

With the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport’s recent expansion, the city’s director of aviation requested the council approve upgrades to the nearly decade-old security system.

According to city documents, the current system has been in place since the airport was built in 2004, but no longer meets the facility’s needs.

Matt Van Valkenburgh, the city’s aviation director, said security regulations changed and technology has “radically evolved” since the airport was built.

He said the airport staff wants to integrate access control with its closed-circuit televisions so security has “full command and control.”

“We would like to add graphic user interfaces for our operators so they have instant recognition to any sort of breach (in security,)” Van Valkenburgh said.

He said the current system won’t allow for that, but the approval allowing for security upgrades would meet the facility’s needs “well into the future.”

“Technology has changed. This is an excellent opportunity for us to take advantage of new technology and position ourselves for the future,” he said.

The council’s approval allows city officials to request proposals seeking the “best-valued system from a qualified vendor.”

Skylark Field

The council also unanimously approved to use the Texas Department of Transportation as its agent in developing a master plan for Skylark Field.

“Skylark has not had a stand-alone master plan for at least 10 years,” Van Valkenburgh said. “We would like to develop a master planning document ... to help us identify development opportunities and provide for financial framework so that we can potentially move Skylark forward.”

TxDOT’s aviation division will act as the city’s agent in releasing a request for proposal that will identify consultants for the master plan and in helping the city choose the best consultant.

TxDOT also will act as the city’s agent in handling all the financial issues that will accompany developing the plan. The master plan is eligible for Federal Aviation Administration entitlement funding, which is issued through TxDOT’s aviation division.

Van Valkenburgh said the facility, through fiscal year 2014, accumulated about $300,000 in entitlement funds that can be applied to developing a master plan.

The FAA grant will fund 90 percent of the proposed plan. The city will fund 10 percent of the estimated $400,000 to complete the plan.

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