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      Kirksville airport to embark on expensive improvements

      The airport is slated to get additional parking and a smoother ride as you drive up to the terminal from Highway 63.

      Kirksville Regional Airport is embarking on some expensive improvements later this year.

      Airport Director David Hall told KTVO thanks to the increased number of people flying Cape Air, the airport needs more parking.

      Using a $350,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, an additional 50 parking spaces will be added to the north of the current airport parking lot.

      Hall said Cape Air ridership has exceeded expectations.

      There are upwards of 1,000 passengers using the air service each month.

      Hall said the shortage of parking spaces is a good problem to have.

      "Through the holidays we had about 50 cars out in the grass, and luckily we had a dry winter, and so we didn't have problems with people getting stuck, but with the increased ridership, and we're looking at about 900 to 1,000 monthly at this point, we're certainly short on parking," said Hall.

      Hall said additional parking will also be added behind the fixed-base operator (FBO) building at the airport.

      Those spaces will be used by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees so they wonâ??t take up parking spaces needed for travelers.

      The MoDOT money will also be used to add a two-inch asphalt overlay to the airport entrance road.

      Hall said the pavement is starting to show its age.

      The MoDOT grant that will be used for the projects requires a 10 percent match.

      That means the City of Kirksville will only have to pay for one-tenth of the cost.

      Hall said the grant money wonâ??t be available until August, but he still anticipates the work at the airport being sometime late this summer.