Safety first: Airport project aimed at improving runways
Published 5:49 pm Friday, January 2, 2015
During its meeting last month, the Washington City Council amended the city’s budget ordinance to complete funding for engineering services for the engineering of the approach surveys and analysis project at Warren Field Airport.
The city has been using a combination of grant funding and city dollars to pay for airport improvements. The first allocation of the 2014 Vision 100 grant is needed to complete funding for the airport approach study, according to a memorandum from Matt Rauschenbach, the city’s administrative services director and chief financial officer, to the mayor and council members.
The council’s action increased the airport fund by $5,620 (from the Vision 100 grant) and by $626 (appropriated from the city’s fund balance as the city’s grant match) for a total increase in the airport fund of $6,246.
The approach study will focus on runway 5-23 and runway 17-35 at the city-owned airport.
“The initial grant application last summer did not have enough funding available to cover the entire amount. This additional funding being requested now will utilize the first allocation of the 2-14 Vision in the amount of $5,620,” reads a letter from Talbert & Bright, the city’s airport engineers, to the city.
The approach study will determine how approaches to the airport can be made safer and improved so aircraft may find it easier to land and take off at the airport. It will determine if trees or other objects could hinder aircraft as they approach the airport.
“Trees and other objects in the approach to Runways 17 and 35 were identified during survey work performed in 2011 as part of the Airport Layout Plan update project. … With the completion of the approach survey work, the City of Washington will be able to provide the NCDOT Division of Aviation with a location for the threshold marking on both Runway 17 and 35 for their use in re-marking the runway,” reads a city document.
“At the time we applied for the grant, we were short by $5,620 in our NPE balance to fund the entire work scope. However, now that the 2014 NPE funding has been released, we week now to bridge this shortfall,” wrote Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, in a letter to Nancy Seigler, grants administrator with the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division.
City officials view the airport as one of the city’s economic-development tools. For that reason, they said, they are seeking funding sources, mostly grants, to help pay for improvements at the airport so it can complete with similar airports in the area.