By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com
(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton City Council has approved plans to move forward with a taxiway and general aviation apron reconstruction project at Riverton Regional Airport.
In a report to the council, Airport Manager and Public Works Director Bill Urbigkit said Taxiway C is in need of immediate action due to poor pavement conditon and he said the general aviation apron in front of the fixed base operator’s maintenance hanger and the Airport Fire Station is in “very poor” condition.
Of the estimated total cost of the project, some $1.056 million, 93 percent would be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, 4.5 percent by WYDOT’s Wyoming Aernautics Division and 2.5 percent by the city. The city’s share is estimated at just over $28,000.
“This project will support the aircraft we want to have, not necessarily what we have now,” Urbigkit told the council. “The pavement conditons on Taxiway C and the apron are the worst asphalt at the airport. We hope for construction this summer,” he said.
Urbigkit said a previous apron improvement project rebuilt half of the apront in front of Jim’s Aircraft Service, the airports Fixed Base Operator, “So we won’t block him out during construction.”
Upon questioning from the council, Urbigkit noted that Fremont County contributed $95,000 to the airport operations this current fiscal year. “It has been their desire to support the day to day operations and not capital projects,” he said.
Mayor Ron Warpness said he’d like “to see some support from Lander, Dubois and other communities” to help fund airport operations here, “even if a token amount to say they support us.” Warpness noted that Riverton contributes the bulk of operational costs, over $300,000 to the airport, each year.
Urbigkit said that Lander and Dubois each have their own general aviation airports to support, “and Lander’s Hunt Field is a big economic driver for them, there are more aircraft stationed there than we have here,” he said.
He said plans for the reconstruction of the taxiway and apron are underway and the grant to pay for the program won’t be finalized “until we know exactly how much it will cost.”
Bill, Lander and Dubois have their own airports that they take care of. Hunt field is a big economic driver for Lander, more aircraft stationed there than we have.