Carson City Airport Authority: Let there be lights
August 21, 2014
Financing for lights on hills near Mound House to help clear the way for night aircraft landings was approved Wednesday night by Carson City's Airport Authority.
Authority members also discussed but took no action yet on a proposal to initiate coordination with city government, the city's Visitor's Bureau and the Governor's Office of Economic Development on airport development, as well as kick off work toward an airport master plan update in coming years.
On the lights near Mound House, authority members gave preliminary approval to spending up to $25,000 for the project Airport Manager Tim Rowe was told by Federal Aviation Authority officials was necessary in order to eliminate night restrictions for approaches and GPS Runway 27.
Rowe said the hills are on federal Bureau of Land Management land and BLM officials sounded like they would allow the solar-powered LED lights on poles, but an environmental impact assessment might be necessary before the project could be done. The authority has been pushing toward obtaining FAA approval for night landings for some time with an eye toward improving business.
Improving other aspects of the airport's economic capacity was the goal of the proposal to develop an updated master plan, coordinate with other government agencies and look into additional ways of raising revenue at the airport that was discussed at length but delayed until the next meeting.
Authority board member Maurice White brought the item before the authority.
He said he wanted to get the ball rolling on the master plan process to avoid a "disjointed document" and initiate a dialogue with Carson City officials to develop a "closer relationship with the city." He offered a one-page document that included some tentative ideas, such as creating an airport improvement district and determining the best policies to retain current tenants at the airport, as well as to spark development or marketing ideas.
Vice Chairman Karl Hutter praised the concept, asked staff for a primer on the master plan process and suggested the delay on taking any action until the next meeting.
In other action, the authority approved two resolutions supporting 2015 Nevada legislative bills, one seeking $500,000 in state funding as seed money for rural airports to get federal matching grants and the other for an aviation tax abatement program to spur the aviation parts business in the state. Members also were updated on airport apron construction progress and voted approval of $32,000 for additional related work.