Airport Coordinator Bruce Ludeman gave five commissioners — Alvin Vaughn, Daniel Ramey, John Favors and newly appointed members Ameni Alexander and Bruce George — a tour of areas most people never see up close, such as a runway.
“We have items coming up on their agenda that we thought it would be nice for them to have a feel on the things we would be talking about,” Ludeman said. “As (an) advisory commission, most of the things we do as (airport) projects we have them review them first before they go to the (City) Council.”
During the 30-minute walking tour, Ludeman took commissioners onto Runway 826. He said he wanted them to see its poor condition.
By dragging his foot over the surface, he demonstrated how easy it was to cause pebbling. He said the resulting fragments of the pavement cause damage to aircraft — particularly their tires.
Ludeman also pointed out extensive cracks in the runway, which he said look minor from a distance, but run deep into the ground.
After the tour, George, who was appointed to the board in June, said seeing the runways reinforced his desire to use future Federal Aviation Administration funds for repairs.
“The thing that really interested me was the fact that we hear about how the runway has to be resurfaced, but until you go out there and see the deterioration,” George said. “You don’t think much about it. It’s really deteriorated; it’s an old, old runway.”
Appointed in May, Alexander said he found the tour “very informative” and he, too, was surprised by the runway conditions.
City worker and board liaison Ed Lovell said funding to resurface the airport would come from an FAA grant. He said the first round of grants were expected within a couple of weeks, and the money would cover the cost of new paving for runways, taxiways and the ramp area.
- Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or email@example.com.