For some people visiting Fallon, the first glimpse they catch of the area is the city's airport. With the airport's appearance and general maintenance in mind, city planners are moving forward on plans to first improve the facility and possibly expand it in the more distant future.
The city council awarded a five-year contract Tuesday to Reno-based PBS&J Engineering to provide engineering and consulting input toward improvements to Fallon Municipal Airport.
According to city planners, the Federal Aviation Administration would pay for up to 95 percent of any projects that arise at the airport, and additional state funding may also be available.
Fallon City Engineer Larry White said the contract with PBS&J is essentially a general "catch-all" agreement for miscellaneous engineering needs at the airport.
While he said it would take some time to list and prioritize any specific projects to be done at the airport, White mentioned that repair and general maintenance of the facility's runway is definitely a concern.
"Based on the funds that we have, the runway may not be the first thing that we do," White said. "But there are several cracks in it, so some resurfacing needs to be done."
White said there are several projects that city planners have in mind at the airport, ranging from general maintenance to possibly constructing additional hangar space and more taxiways.
Any talk of possibly expanding the runway or the airport itself is still being addressed in the city's airport layout plan, which Fallon Emergency Manager Steve Endacott said is in the process of being updated.
"If we're going to look at expanding (the airport), you have to kind of maintain the zoning to get a lower-density area," White said. "You don't want to have a big apartment building right next to the runway. So we're keeping our options open."