"The innocent days of loose security are over," said Public Works Director Tim Costello.
The Cottonwood City Council awarded a bid to American Fence in the amount of $43,340 to construct an automated main gate at the Cottonwood Municipal Airport.
According to a letter to Council, the elements of the project include "a hydraulic operator to open the gate, card reader and radio controller to activate the gate, detector loops cut into the pavement to sense vehicles [and] miscellaneous electrical work."
Once the gate project is complete, plans are to build a perimeter road inside the airport fence.
Money for the gate project will come out of a $152,000 Federal Aviation Administration grant.
Costello said the local pilots are requesting the gate to stop people from driving on the taxiways to look at aircraft.
"There will likely be members of the public that feel the public airport should be more accessible to the public," he said. "Unfortunately, the safety and security concerns overwhelm the concerns of providing easy public access to the aircraft maneuvering areas of the airport."