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Rep. Tom Cole and Duncan Mayor Gene Brown participate in a ribbon-cutting for the new airport terminal at Duncan Municipal Airport.

The snip of a strand of red ribbon marked the end of Phase I, but the beginning of a better Duncan.

A ribbon-cutting took place Tuesday to officially open the new airport terminal at Duncan Municipal Airport. The terminal is Phase I of the 2003 long-range master plan for the Duncan Airport Authority.

Public Works Director Scott Vaughn said, “I’m very pleased. It makes you want to go out for Phase II.”

The total cost of Phase I was about $1.4 million, which includes engineering. Vaughn said 95 percent of the project is being paid annually by the Federal Aviation Administration through a series of grants.

“So far, we’ve secured about $800,000 of that,” he said. “It will take them a few years to pay us back.”

Vaughn said he expects future development of the airport will have positive effects on Duncan. He said there is a possibility of bringing more business to the community because the town would have the airport to accommodate travelers.

He said the new terminal has an aesthetic appeal, both inside and out, which makes it a welcoming, modern facility, Vaughn said.

With Phase I, a pilots’ lounge was established, offices were designated, and the wind and weather monitoring system was given a new location.

Duncan Mayor Gene Brown said continued work on the master plan could have a large impact on economic development in Duncan.

“It’s going to be a great deal,” Brown said. “This is all a part of the long-range master plan. This is a good start.”

Vaughn said several Phase II ideas are being looked at. Some of these include the possibility of adding a restaurant or having a place for baggage handling.

Vaughn said it wouldn’t be long until Phase II would be a topic of discussion.

Brown said he is happy to see such a big project beginning to take shape. The new terminal may be only the first phase, but it’s something that can stand well on its own, he said.

“It’s a building citizens can be proud of,” Brown said.

Vaughn said the master plan is focused on what’s best for the community and on what would make a visit to Duncan easier on a business person or a pilot.

“It is a big plan,” Vaughn said. “This is a cornerstone.”

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