Airport tour reveals flaws to Tracy commissioners
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jul 19, 2013 | 2425 views | 1 1 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioners tour airport
Tracy Municipal Airport Coordinator Bruce Ludeman points out different areas of the airport to members of the Transportation Advisory Commission during a tour of the airport on July 11. Taking the tour were (left to right) commissioners Alvin Vaughn and Bruce George, board liaison Ed Lovell, Commissioner Daniel Ramey, Transportation Coordinator Jayne Pramod, and board vice chairman John Favors. The 30 minute walking tour was to update the board on issues facing the airport. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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Members of the Transportation Advisory Commission saw first-hand some of the inadequacies of Tracy Municipal Airport during an evening tour on July 11.

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.

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July 20, 2013
This is so disappointing. When the City contracted to resurface the runway about 2 years ago, they knew it was a defective job but did nothing to have the contractor correct the situation. Contractor friend of some on the then council?

Now they want to redo the runway with the FAA paying for it, and reducing the length from over 4000 feet to 3 feet shorter changing our status to a small airport (under 4000') to get more money from the FAA. To heck with the airport's future.

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