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There are no longer plans to build an east-west runway at the Marion Airport. At its meeting Sept. 21, the Marion City Council voted unanimously to suspend provisions of the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) for the Marion Airport relating to the proposed east-west runway. The second runway, which would have joined the airport’s existing north-south runway, was one of the key components of the ALP, completed in 2017 with a $29 million overall price tag. The plan called for a number of improvements at the small commuter and training airport on the east side of Marion, including the addition of the second runway. However, at its April 7, 2022 meeting, the Marion City Council voted to table consideration of a resolution to suspend portions of the ALP for the Marion Airport, including the proposed east-west runway, which was projected to cost $8.9 million as of 2017. Thereafter, city officials named an Airport Visioning Team, including members of the Marion Airport Committee, to re-evaluate the airport’s long-term ALP and and its overall future. Marion council member Steve Jensen said Sept. 21 there were several reasons to eliminate the east-west runway from the Airport Layout Plan, including a recent consultant’s report indicating there was “no large benefit” to adding the runway, considering its high price tag. “On a personal basis, given the magnitude of that cost, there are way too many areas of this city that money should be used for,” Mr. Jensen said. “I think it's just time to eliminate that out of our airport layout plan and allow others to make decisions based upon an Airport Layout Plan without that east-west runway.” The Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) had also been seeking clarification of the city’s intentions for the airport. In May 2022, then-MEDCO president Nick Glew noted that the 184-acre Marion Enterprise Center (MEC), which provides and encourages industrial and commercial development, lies near the airport, and the construction of an east-west runway would impinge on a portion of MEC property to the west and south of the airport. “Our role is supporting continued business growth and attracting new businesses, and as we do that, the ALP has some impact on what that looks like and what ground is available for development,” Mr. Glew said. “Our position isn’t against the plan that’s adopted. We’re just asking for clarity to ensure that the council and the community is fully behind that adopted plan. If there are changes going to be made, that impacts how we develop ground around (the airport).” That perspective was echoed by Marion mayor pro tem Grant Harper, who noted that “there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes activity that brings us to the necessity of taking this action.” “The property that was held in reserve because of that plan had really sat idle and was not able to be marketed by MEDCO for nominally seven years," he said. "It really was incumbent at this point that we release this portion of the ALP so that MEDCO can proceed with marketing that property for commercial or industrial uses.” The airport’s operations are unique in Iowa. The city of Marion owns the runway and a fixed-base operation building, but the airport is managed under a contract with LuxAir Aviation, which also owns the rest of the property. The city renewed its lease agreement with LuxAir in April 2022.