Yampa Valley Regional Airport runway project is in design phase | CraigDailyPress.com

Yampa Valley Regional Airport runway project is in design phase

Michael Schrantz

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a grant for the design phase of Yampa Valley Regional Airport’s runway project.

The resurfacing of the runway will shut down air travel for as long as 60 days this spring.

It was a retroactive signature for the grant approval because the airport already is 30 percent through the design phase, YVRA Manager Dave Ruppel said.

When the design process is about 60 percent complete in mid-October, Ruppel said, specific dates for the runway closure will be announced, and public meetings will be held.

The Federal Aviation Administration grant for the design process is $948,681, which accounts for 90 percent of the cost. Of the remaining 10 percent, about 5 percent will be covered by Colorado Department of Transportation funds and the rest will come from airport revenue, whether that’s from the general fund or paid back through passenger facility charges.

The cost for the entire project — which includes runway resurfacing, asphalt work on connectors and a section of aircraft parking ramp and construction of a new vehicle service road — is estimated at about $16 million.

Ruppel told the county commissioners Tuesday that the FAA already has about $8.5 million set aside for the project. Additional funding sources include about $2.3 million in Airport Improvement Program funds dedicated to YVRA during the next two years and about $2 million from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Some of the cost also will come from airport revenue.

The cost estimate of $16 million is the outer range, Ruppel said, and the project price tag could come in lower after the design process is complete.

Runway resurfacing is planned to be completed about every 10 years and is part of the airport’s capital improvement plan.

Under YVRA’s master plan, Ruppel said, there is a segment of the process dedicated to forecasting future air service possibilities.

“It looks at trends out there as far as potential growth,” he said. “It tries to evaluate what we might have out there.”

Because of the scope of the master plan, the forecasting process can’t look for specific air routes. However, Ruppel said, the airport has considered undertaking a different study outside of the master plan that can be more tailored.

Ruppel said it’s hard to compare airports and their services in different areas.

“Very seldom are they apples to apples,” he said.

Public tours are being offered monthly as part of the master plan process. The next two tours are scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 16 and 1 p.m. Nov. 13.

Ruppel said the September tour went great.

“We had a full group,” he said. “We can handle about 12 in each of those groups.”

He said there already are eight people signed up for the next tour.

The master plan should be finalized by the end of December 2014.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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