GJT Receives Largest Federal Grant Ever, Funds Needed Maintenance
The Grand Junction Regional airport now has an additional $12.9 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to fund much needed maintenance.
The grant was announced Tuesday as part of $1.2 billion in new grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation going to airports across the country.
The grant will go towards multiple projects. The first, replacing the west apron of the airport. The west apron is where commercial passenger flights load and unload passengers.
“We’ll actually be replacing 22,000 square yards of concrete,” said airport spokesperson Joe Burtard. “It will be about 15 inches deep. Just to put that in perspective, a typical parking lot whether it’s concrete or asphalt is about 4 to 6 inches deep.”
The second project will create more space for aircraft to be tested after they’ve had maintenance work done. Joe Burtard says right now, the area for aircraft testing at GJT is not in the best location, and this next space will be larger.
“The second airport improvement project we’re going to work on is a temporary run-up pad,” Burtard said. “We’re going to use this pad to test aircraft after they’ve been maintained.”
Over the weekend Colorado U.S. Senator Cory Gardner visited GJT to help announce these federal funds, and share what impact these funds could have.
“It’s going to expand air services, it’s going to expand runway facilities here, and make a big difference in helping fight fires and the tankers that re-fuel here,” Gardner said. “So this really is about economic opportunity and protecting our public lands, and our Bureau of Land Management headquarters just down the road.”
According to Burtard, these two projects are part of a long-term runway replacement project. The airport will gradually work up to constructing an entirely new runway over the next decade.
Airport officials also don’t have a projected start date yet on the west apron concrete replacement and construction of the new run-up pad for aircraft testing.
By: Adrian Thomas
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