|The Carbon County Airport was the site for staging up to five helicopters during the Mathis Fire in July of this year. The new money the county has received for the airport upgrade includes funds to build facilities for helicopters that could be used in many kinds of emergency circumstances.|
Capital projects at Carbon's airport will continue due to federal funding received by the county.
In 2007, a $4.2 million project is under construction at the facility.
According to Commissioner Bill Krompel, the construction of the airport improvement project will be completed during 2008 by local general and electrical contractors.
The planning and fund securing process has been going on for the three years.
The project breakdown of funding sources, dollar amounts and specific improvements to the airport include:
A $2.300.000 federal aviation grant. The funds wiil be used for the design and construction of the last 2,900 feet of parallel taxiway.
When completed next year, the taxiway will be 8,300 feet long by 35 feet wide.
The money will also be used to install a precision approach path indicator on the north end of the 8,300-foot by 100-foot main runway.
Because of significant changes in slopes and power lines north of the airport, the visual lighting device will improve safety when aircraft land on the main runway, indicated the Carbon commissioner.
In addition, the FAA funding will be used to rehabilitate and construct approximately 220 feet of aircraft parking apron at the county airport, including one helicopter area.
A $1 million federal grant to design and install an instrument landing system.
The system will enhance safe aircraft landings during inclement and low visibility weather using electronic instruments, pointed out Krompel.
A $600,000 state division of aeronautics grant for crack sealing, seal coating and painting the main runway.
The grant also includes funding to rehabilitate/reconstruct a portion of the main aircraft parking apron.
A $300,000 award from the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District to rehabilitate and relocate the tower and beacon as well as install helicopter pads.
The infrastructure will support helicopter operations in fighting the wildfires in the region, noted Krompel.
The Carbon County airport accommodates approximately 14,550 takeoffs and landings every year, noted the commissioner. Of the total number, 700 are corporate jets, primarily affiliated with the energy industry.
Currently, the airport has the fifth longest commercial runway in the state.
According to a recent state division of aeronautics study, the leconomic impact of the Carbon County Airport is nearly $4,000,000 a year and supports directly or indirectly 50 full-time equivalent employees who are paid $1.22 million in wages annually, concluded Krompel.