Improvements at Granby, Kremmling airports scheduled for spring |

Improvements at Granby, Kremmling airports scheduled for spring

Major improvements to the Granby and Kremmling airports will begin in spring with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) paying most of the bill. The FAA will fund 95 percent of the $9 million in upgrades, with 2.5 percent paid for by the state and 2.5 percent covered by Grand County.

“It’s a very good return on the county’s investment,” said County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran. The county recently completed the FAA scoping process and is moving forward with bidding projects at both airports. FAA funding for fiscal year 2009/2010 won’t be finalized until March, but the county expects grants similar to last year.

Granby Airport’s $4.35 million improvement project includes a long list of FAA upgrades needed to bring the airport up to general aviation standards. Last summer, workers started the two-year project, applying the first two-inches of asphalt needed to lift the runway. In addition, the runway will be widened and increased by 41 feet to 5,000 feet in length. Other improvements include added safety clearance, new lighting, an instrument approach, a back taxi-way, a new AWOS-III weather unit, and the removal of the old hangar.

With $48,693 leftover from last year’s $3.3 million grant, and approximately another $4.3 million in 2009/2010, the FAA has contributed a total of $8 million to the Granby airport. Grand County and CDOT must match $100,000 each to receive the grant for 2009/2010. Project work will likely start around June 1, closing the airport for approximately 90 days. The FAA and the county realize summer is a high traffic season and will re-open the airport as quickly as possible. Pilots and plane owners are encouraged to use the Kremmling airport during the closure.

Kremmling’s McElroy Field Airport was awarded $150,000 from two FAA grants. The first grant was $48,693, and the second will be approximately $101,307. The county must match 2.5 percent, or $7,896. The money will fund a lightning protection system to prevent runway light blow-outs, which have been a frequent problem. Work is projected to begin in spring. The runway will be closed approximately 10 to 15 days.

Future plans for the Kremmling airport entail a $20 million project to realign the runway so the landing approach isn’t over the town. The project likely won’t begin in the next 10 years.

Both the Granby and Kremmling airports have seen increased use in recent years, and these capital improvements should attract even more business.

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