Naples airport adding observation deck for flight watching - PHOTOS

Construction nears completion of an observation deck overlooking the runways of Naples Municipal Airport on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in Naples. Work is scheduled to be completed this month on the 600-square-foot deck on the southwest edge of the airport property on North Road. David Albers/Staff

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Construction nears completion of an observation deck overlooking the runways of Naples Municipal Airport on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in Naples. Work is scheduled to be completed this month on the 600-square-foot deck on the southwest edge of the airport property on North Road. David Albers/Staff

— Southwest Florida residents soon will be able to watch planes from a new observation deck at Naples Municipal Airport.

The Naples Airport Authority approved the building of an observation deck to provide the public with a good vantage point for watching aircraft at Naples airport.

Construction of the 600-square-foot, wooden observation deck on the south end of the main runway is about 85 percent complete, said Ted Soliday, the airport’s executive director.

There is no date for completion of the $148,580 project since there are a few pieces of the project that haven’t been finalized yet, including sun shade sails, or canopies, that can instantly bring cool shade to an outdoor area and playground equipment.

Four plastic, blue in color, children’s airplane spring rocking riders are set adjacent to the deck.

“We thought this could be something the community could use as a little oasis down by the airport,” said Jim Beaudin, principal architect with Fletcher Thompson.

Cunningham Construction is the general contractor, and Fletcher Thompson is providing architectural and engineering services.

Three companies responded to the call for bids for the project.

Christel Construction proposed doing the work for $77,100 compared to Surety Construction’s proposal to do the work for $75,463 and Cunningham Construction’s proposal of $73,580.

The Naples Airport Authority awarded the bid to the lowest bidder, Cunningham Construction.

The total project budget is $148,580, which includes engineering and construction costs.

The observation deck will be wheelchair accessible. The deck will be free to the public.

Soliday, who has been involved with the Boy Scouts for about 40 years and has earned the Silver Beaver award, is interested in involving local Boy Scouts in a community project at the airport.

Once the deck is completed, the airport plans to work with local Boy Scouts, who may assemble picnic tables and benches, add landscaping or install flag poles.

This project could help Boy Scouts fulfill their community service requirements to advance to an Eagle Scout rank, while exposing them to potential aviation careers, as well as hobbies, said Greg Graham, Scout executive and CEO of the Southwest Florida Council Boy Scouts of America.

“Scouts are always looking for opportunities to give back to the community,” Graham said.

Graham said he feels there will be a strong interest from Scouts to participate in the airport’s project.

There are about 1,600 Scouts in about 40 Scout troops in Collier County with more than 400 adult volunteers.

__ Connect with Tracy X. Miguel at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tracy_x_miguel/

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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