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A plan to improve and develop Akron Airport would have minimal impact on nearby residents, engineers and airport officials said last week.

During a public information session, representatives of Passero Associates of Rochester and officials of the Christian Airmen Inc. -- owners of the airport -- told about 50 people that, based on the information received at a Nov. 11 meeting, measures will be taken "to minimize the perceived impacts to the local area."

The airport's location, adjacent to the northeast border of Akron in Newstead, has many residents concerned about noise, low-flying planes, danger to the nearby Akron Central School on Bloomingdale Avenue, and a decrease in property values.

But Wayne F. Wegman, vice president of Passero Associates, an engineering firm, said the plan does not include future runway extension, meaning all improvements will be made within the airport property.

He said the improvements will not mean that the airport can accommodate larger airplanes.

Airport representatives, in a report, also noted that reconstruction of the runway will also include improvements to storm drainage. The report said that further research will be conducted on how construction will affect residents.

Allen R. Kidder, chairman of the Akron Planning Board and also a pilot and flight instructor, said the airport has already made substantial progress to reduce noise.

"Proposed improvements would further reduce noise by moving the east end of the runway closer to Scotland Road," he said. "By starting the take-off farther to the east, this would permit planes to climb higher before reaching the village proper, reducing the measured noise on the ground."

Kidder added that installation of a berm on the south edge of the airport would further reduce noise.

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