• December 21, 2014

Killeen mulls airport security upgrades

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Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 4:17 pm, Wed Feb 19, 2014.

The Killeen City Council meets tonight to decide if it will allow security upgrades at Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport and the development of a master plan for Skylark Field.

The city’s director of aviation asked the council last week for an upgrade to the nearly decade-old security system at the airport.

According to city documents, the current system was installed in 2004 when the airport was built, which was “state-of-the-art” at the time, and met the facility’s needs and federal regulations. Aviation Director Matt Van Valkenburgh said that since that time, security regulations have changed as has the airport, which has since expanded.

“The things we want to do are integrate our access control with our closed-circuit televisions so that we have full command and control,” he said. “We would like to add graphic user interfaces for our operators so they have instant recognition to any sort of breach.”

Since 2004, security technology has “radically evolved,” Van Valkenburgh said, and the current system cannot be upgraded to meet the airport’s needs.

Skylark Field

The council also will consider developing a master plan for Skylark Field to aid in guiding the facility’s transition from a commercial service airport to a general aviation airport, something that hasn’t been done since the airport changed its role in 2004 when Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport opened.

According to city documents, a joint master plan was adopted in 2002 for Skylark Field and Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport. The city completed an airport layout plan update and terminal area master plan in 2008 for Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, but no planning initiative was made regarding Skylark.

Van Valkenburgh said since the 2002 joint plan, Skylark Field has undergone several changes making a new plan necessary.

The Rosewood Drive projects and the development of neighboring properties’ impact on the facility also need to be addressed, he said. The plan is eligible for government entitlement funding, which is issued through the Texas Department of Transportation’s aviation division. The council meets at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 101 N. College St.

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