Upgrades proposed at Silver Springs Airport in Lyon County

Lyon County Manager Jeff Page announced that he is planning workshop with the Board of County Commissioners to discuss the draft Silver Springs Airport Master Plan and proposed Master Lease Agreement with the Silver Springs Airport, LLC. The workshop will be held sometime in September and will be held in Silver Springs.

Lyon County has been in a public-private partnership with the Silver Springs Airport, LLC for over twenty years. In that time the airport has grown from a dirt strip to a fully functional airport with hangars, fueling capabilities and pilot lounge.

On April 14, 2016 the Board of Commissioners conducted a workshop on the draft master plan that was developed by Armstrong Consultants of Grand Junction, Colorado. The proposed master plan recommends a $26,673,000.00 investment with $1,667,064.00 of that coming from local coffers to match the FAA grants. The master plan breaks this project down over a twenty year period and includes:

Upgrading taxiway lighting and weather observation capabilities

Improving automotive parking

Installation of a Jet A fueling station

Expansion of Apron, extension of runways, taxiway construction

Building a General Aviation Terminal Building, storage building & helicopter parking pad

Acquiring and implementing snow removal equipment

Pavement maintenance

Updating the master plan

Since April the County has been reviewing the draft Master Plan and working with stakeholders to determine the proper course of action for the Airport. The Airport is in close proximity of the proposed USA Parkway expansion to U.S. 50 and a number of proposed commercial development in the area.

Page explained that the FAA requires public involvement in the master planning process and that he anticipates strong public debate on the issue. He explained that the last master plan was done for the airport in 1998 and was done by Lumos and Associates.

Until 2011 the FAA match was provided by the Nevada Aviation Trust Fund but the County has been providing the match after that fund was depleted. This past year the fund has been brought back to life.

Page explained that one of the issues that need to be addressed is that of Avigation easements. An Avigation easement is an easement or right of overflight in the airspace above or in the vicinity of a particular property. Currently there are only three recorded Avigation easements and the County is investigating the need for additional easements and the legal process to obtain them.

2006 The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in McCarran International Airport v. Sisolak that the manner in which the avigation easement was exacted could not have a created a permanent right for the County owned airport. The court adopted the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Nollan v. California Costal Commission (438 U.S. 825, 1987), that “to obtain easement of access across private property, the State must proceed through its eminent domain power”.

Page explained that this court decision may impact the County’s ability to implement runway expansion in the future. Page explained that is working with staff to determine a date and time for all stakeholder and interested citizens to participate in a workshop and will ensure that information about the workshop is provided through normal posting channels, social media and media releases.

To read the proposed master plan, go to http://www.lyon-county.org/DocumentCenter/View/6806.


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