Airport Runway, Taxiway Upgrade Planned Next Summer
July 22, 2015
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  • The Sunnyside City Council will soon decide whether or not to submit a grant application to the Federal Aviation Association to help with paying for the renovation of the Sunnyside Municipal Airport’s runway and taxiway.

    The renovations, included in the Sunnyside Municipal Airport Advisory Board’s master plan for the airport, are slated for next summer, according to Stephanie Ray of Huibregtse, Louman Associates.

    At last night’s advisory board meeting, she submitted a draft application for funding needed for the design of the construction project.

    Ray said the application will secure the airport’s entitlements from the FAA, but noted the city will be obligated to fund $33,000 of the design costs.

    Although federal lawmakers have not yet approved a transportation package, Ray believes the process will be relatively simple.

    She said the FAA also has requested confirmation regarding the extension of the taxiway, which would be constructed where corn is currently being grown.

    “If so, the location is considered undisturbed land,” Ray noted, saying the FAA will require an environmental review be conducted.

    After the review, the portion of the airport property will need to be “…signed off as category exempt,” she said.

    If the review reveals environmental concerns, Ray said the suggestion is to maintain the current runway alignment.

    When asked about the plans to renovate both the runway and taxiway in one project, Ray said the Sunnyside Municipal Airport Advisory Board had planned the projects separately, but “…the FAA would rather see a large project than two smaller projects.”

    She said combining the two projects reduces any potential of a runway failure, which would call for discretionary funding rather than allocation funding.

    When asked about construction dates, Ray said bids for the project would be accepted next May, digging would begin in July and construction would last approximately four months.

    She told the advisory board coordinated efforts will be needed to alert pilots and air traffic the airport is not accessible during those months.

    The advisory board unanimously agreed to forward the draft of the grant application to the Sunnyside City Council for approval.