Airport overlay work looks likely in 2015

Plan awaiting state OK for 2-day project

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 22, 2013 

Repaving the Los Banos Municipal Airport is drawing closer now that the city has submitted its overlay plans to the state.

Public Works Director Mark Fachin said the overlay is scheduled for 2015. He said the work on the 125-acre facility will take two days to complete at a cost of $1.6 million. If the Federal Aviation Administration continues to offer grants for such projects, Los Banos will only be responsible for a 10 percent match totaling $160,000.

Fachin sees the likelihood of matching funds due to the airport's improving finances.

"If you look at what's happened through the years, the airport enterprise funds have gone from deficits to bringing in revenue," Fachin said.

He said although he wishes there were a few more tenants renting hangars, fuel sales have been a major revenue generator.

He said so far this fiscal year the purchase and sale of aviation fuel has caused the airport's budget to exceed projections.

"We're doing good on fuel," he said.

Los Banos has $650,000 in FAA capital improvement funding, but the federal government's policy is that if the money is not used, it reverts back to the agency.

There is a fear that the grants will stop being distributed.

FAA has given no indication that it will halt capital improvement grants but it remains a possibility, according to Fachin.

He said if the FAA does stop giving grant money for capital improvements, the overlay project could still move forward.

"We might do it in phases," he said, adding that there is little else the airport needs. "We're fine in the future, we may put some markings out there."

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