With the continued growth of the Tahoe Regional Industrial Center and the coming construction of USA Parkway, the Silver Springs Airport will become a much busier place.
Monday morning, the airport celebrated the receipt of $600,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration that was sponsored by Lyon County with a special dedication ceremony.
Those grants will enable increased traffic at the airport, which is projected to increase by five to seven times over the current 3,000 operations per year. These federal grants enabled the airport to develop two major projects that created approximately 60 construction jobs. The first project was increasing the size of the taxiway. The funds also provided for new hangar space and to revitalize and rehabilitate the existing runway,bringing it to optimum condition.
“This dedication is an important first step in the development of the airport’s master plan,” Kay Bennett, owner and manager of Silver Springs Airport LLC, said. “The future of the airport is one of growth and expanding opportunities for the citizens of Silver Springs and Lyon County. As we go forward, our partnership with the FAA, Lyon County and Northern Nevada Development Authority will position the Silver Springs Airport to become a regional aviation hub.”
One key component for Silver Springs Airport is its strategic location and how it can serve the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Being the largest industrial park in the world, the airport will provide the aviation needs to TRIC and attract others in the aviation industry making an enormous economic impact on the region.
“I am honored to be part of the Silver Springs Airport dedication,” Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchinson said. “I would like to compliment Silver Springs Airport owner and manager Kay Bennett and the airport staff as well as Lyon County for their efforts and the resulting opportunities they will be providing for Northern Nevada. Their vision will undoubtedly have far reaching positive effects on the region’s economic development and the countless jobs affiliated with it.”
The Silver Springs Airport was built by the U.S. Army Air Forces in approximately 1942, and was known as the Lahontan Airstrip. It was originally an emergency landing airfield for military aircraft on training flights. In 1989, Kay and Hale Bennett purchased the airport lease and worked tirelessly to develop it into the fully operating airport that it is today. The Silver Springs Airport shares a public-private partnership with the county. As the master plan is completed, the Silver Springs airport projects to see a growth from 3,000 operations annually to an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 operations.