Airport takes off into future

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

The Carson City Airport Authority has made tremendous strides in the past four years toward becoming a competitive 21st century airport, the board's chairman told city officials Thursday.

"Like you, I'm fully aware of various comments which have floated around our community in past years insinuating that the Carson City Airport Authority never seems to make much progress," Steve Lewis told the board of supervisors.

"I hope you'll agree with me that a great deal of progress has been made ... during the past four years," he said.

A few highlights of the 15 achievements of the airport authority in the past four years:

• Secured more than $23 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding for airport improvements without outside financial assistance.

• Secured Carson City's first instrument approach and departure procedure, which now allows pilots to safely land and take off in reduced visibility caused by weather conditions.

• Procured about $3 million of funding to remove one of the largest safety obstacles at the airport, a 75-foot-high hill. Removal of the hill was necessary to support the realignment of a runway as well as the construction of a new taxiway.

• Secured the necessary funds to install a state-of-the-art weather reporting station, which will allow more aircraft to select Carson City as their landing destination.

• Raised the airport's official traffic pattern altitude from 800 to 1,000 feet to reduce aircraft noise.

• Worked with volunteers of the local Experimental Aircraft Association to raise awareness of the airport's noise-sensitive neighborhoods, which resulted in a reduction of complaints.

• Started construction on a taxiway and realigning a runway.

• Hired a full-time salaried airport manager.

Supervisor Shelly Aldean said the improvements at the airport coincide well with the opening of the newest phase of the freeway.

"We are poised for some wonderful opportunities over the next 10 years," she said.

And Airport Manager Casey Pullman echoed Aldean's hopes.

"My vision is for our airport to become the crown jewel of Nevada airports," Pullman said.

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