Council approves improvement plan for airport

Published 3:45 pm Sunday, December 14, 2008

By Staff
Lengthening runway,other projects wouldcost about $7.62 million
Contributing Editor
Washington’s City Council has approved the city’s master plan for improving the city’s airport.
The five-year plan was prepared by Talbert &Bright, the city’s airport engineering firm. It calls for $7.62 million in improvements at Warren Field Airport during 2010-2014. The plan will be submitted to the N.C.. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation as it allocates state funds and federally funded grants to airports in the state.
The plan addresses improvements needed to meet DOA’s minimum standards. The council’s approval of the plan does not commit local money to pay for the recommended improvements.
DOA’s recommended projects include lengthening the main runway by 500 feet, acquiring land for runway protection zones and lighting for approaches, taxiways and apron edges at an estimated cost of $3.415 million. DOA’s requested projects include building T-hangars and corporate hangars, acquiring a runway sweeper and runway repairs at an estimated cost of $4.205 million.
According to Talbert &Bright, many grants the city may obtain to make improvements at the airport would cover 90 percent of costs associated with a project, with the city having to provide revenues to cover the remaining 10 percent of a project’s cost.
Lengthening the runway would cost an estimated $1.08 million. The plan calls for the project to be designed in fiscal year 2010 and to be constructed during fiscal year 2011.
The fencing project at the airport, carried out in part to prevent deer and other animals from getting on runways and posing danger to aircraft either taking off or landing, was completed recently at a cost of about $375,000.
The city also is moving forward to implementing self-service fueling at the airport.
The city is the recipient of a $200,000 grant to help install the self-serve fueling system to dispense aviation fuel at the airport. The airport currently uses fuel trucks to fuel aircraft. The grant also will be used to update the airport’s existing fueling system, except for the tanks that store the two fuels. Jet fuel will continue to be dispensed at the airport, but not as part of the self-serve system.
Recently, the storage tanks were drained and cleaned. They will be kept.
The grant, awarded by the N.C.. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation, requires to the city provide $5,128 to the project, according to city officials.
Engineering for the project will be performed by Talbert &Bright.
The city continues to look for funding sources to help pay for airport improvements.