Multiple projects in the works near Great Falls airport

The county planning board approved the creation of three commercial lots on property near the airport, including the former Skyline Bar.

Casey Doran, one of the developers on the project, said they don’t currently have firm plans for what will be done with those lots but that they own a company that makes urns and engraves headstones and that they might move operations to the hill.

Two of the lots will have septic and wells, the former Skyline property is connected to city utility lines, according to the project proposal.

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During Tuesday’s planning board meeting, there was some discussion over access to the lots since the old airport road has been abandoned and is now privately owned.

County planning staff said the lots will be accessed by the current Airport Avenue B and that there is a portion dedicated as a utility easement and public access on that private road.

County staff and the developers said they will not use the private property for access or staging construction equipment.

The Great Falls International Airport Authority Board also has plans to close Airport Avenue B, purchase a section of the old airport road to move and construct a new Airport Avenue B that would also provide access to other parcels where a separate development is planned. No applications have yet been submitted for that project.

John Faulkner, airport director, said the current Airport Avenue B is offset from the entrance to the Montana Air National Guard and that will cause traffic problems as additional developments are constructed. He’s been talking about moving or realigning Airport Avenue B for several years.

The airport has applied to the city for tax increment financing funds to support the road project.