Next part of FAA grant coming to Carson City Airport |

Next part of FAA grant coming to Carson City Airport

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The next $5 million portion of a roughly $24 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will arrive soon – and it’s a crucial piece of funding, according to members of the Carson City Airport Authority.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Supervisor Richard Staub, who also sits on the authority. “This is a very important piece of the puzzle.”

The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve acceptance of the grant during its meeting Thursday.

The authority will be able to complete its acquisition of 25 acres to realign the main runway. Cost of the land is $9.4 million. Property owner, John Serpa, allowed the authority to make payments over two years.

The first FAA payment, received last year, was also earmarked toward purchase of the land.

An entire airport facelift will occur over the next several years. It includes re-aligning the main runway so the flight path is directed north, 100 yards farther from homes on Apollo Drive, adding some length to make the new runway 6,100 feet long, and constructing a taxiway on the north side of the runway.

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It will also require removing a hill that would impede pilots, but the upgrades should address the safety concerns of residents who live next to the airport by re-routing aircraft traffic.

There have been two plane crashes in the neighborhood outside the airport during the past few years and a couple of “hard landings” at the airport this year.

“This is a major first step,” said Walt Sullivan, who holds the citizen-at-large seat on the authority. The project is “sequential,” with obtaining the Serpa land being crucial. Sullivan is also the city’s planning director.

The authority is responsible for providing a 5 percent contribution toward the cost of the project. The remaining money is expected to come during the next three years, a portion each year, said Neil Weaver, another member of the city’s airport authority.

Work is expected to be complete by 2010 or 2011.

The airport authority was created by the Nevada Legislature in July 1989 and is comprised of seven members, most of whom are aviation professionals appointed by the supervisors. Authority members operate, control and maintain the airport.

Approval by the supervisors is required for some functions, such as development on the airport and acceptance of grants.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

In related business, the supervisors will:

• Be asked to approve a tentative subdivision map for Heritage Hangars at the Carson City Airport. The project, not yet constructed but approved in 2005, would divide four hangars into 22 separate units. Each unit will be owned by the occupant rather than leased.