Measure S ensures runway is built correctly

2012-10-07T20:10:00Z 2012-10-10T17:42:55Z Measure S ensures runway is built correctly Napa Valley Register
October 07, 2012 8:10 pm

What is Measure S and why do we need it?

Measure S simply allows Napa County Airport to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and standards and obtain FAA funding needed to rebuild runway 18R-36L to current FAA standards.

This measure does not allow the lengthening of the runway. It should not increase air traffic, but it can improve conditions for existing aircraft.

Napa County Airport was built in 1943 and has contributed to our economy ever since. The airport is self-sustaining and operates on revenue from rents, fuel-flow fees and landing fees.

Capital improvements for Napa County Airport are funded by the FAA through the Airport Improvement Plan (AIP), which in turn is funded through aircraft fuel taxes.

Our airport has participated in AIP funding for many years and has many projects identified for the future, including the rebuilding of runway 18R-36L.

Runway 18R-36L was originally built in the 1940s, and has served the ever-changing flow of air traffic in the Napa Valley ever since. In 1974, runway 18R-36L was extended from 5,400 feet to 6,000 feet. At that time, an ordinance was passed limiting its weight-bearing capacity.

However, due to Napa County Airport’s participation in the AIP program, heavier aircraft cannot be turned away. Today, many types of corporate aircraft use our airport, and some are heavier than the ordinance dictated.

If the runway is rebuilt to the lower weight-bearing capacity called for in the 1974 ordinance, we will likely see our runway fail in a much shorter term than the standard 20-year life.

This would shift the maintenance burden from the FAA to the county of Napa.

Measure S will help to get runway 18R-36L built right for the current use.

Suzanne Wooton / Yountville

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