ERIE - Upgrades at Erie Municipal Airport could give the town an economic boost down the road, the mayor and a consultant told a standing-room-only crowd Wednesday night.

Erie officials held an airport master plan project introduction meeting to discuss proposed development at the airport during the next 20 years - including a possible runway expansion. The town has hired consultant company Airport Development Group Inc. in Denver to update its airport master plan, a process the Federal Aviation Administration suggests be done every 10 years.

Neighboring towns Frederick and Firestone also are lobbying for airports, a sign of the economic potential of Erie's airport, Joe Wilson, Erie's mayor, told the group of about 100 people assembled at the Erie Community Center. The airport reported a $90,000 profit in a year after private company Vector Air Management LLC took over operations, he said.

"How can we be our best to enhance our local economy?" Wilson asked rhetorically.

Erie expects to spend about $250,000 for the master plan update, with funds coming from the FAA, state government and local government, said Jason Hurd, owner of Vector Air Management.

A report created by Airport Development Group is expected to be finished and presented to the public by spring, consultant Steve Marshall told residents. Comments made in an online survey are to be included in the report, Marshall said. The survey cutoff date is Jan. 14. To read or take the survey, go to

"This airport does so much, with relatively so little resources," Marshall said. "This is the process of working through ... what you like and don't like."

The report also is expected to address issues such as "through the fence" use -residents who access the airport directly from their homes - as well as runway alignment, according to Marshall and Hurd.

Erie Municipal Airport records about 70,000 operations per year - which can be a takeoff or landing, Hurd said. More than 200 airplanes are based there. Vector Air Management pays about $3,000 per month to the town, and, in return, keeps revenue and pays bills. Net revenue in excess of $86,000 is split evenly between Erie and Vector.