Airport Board Reviews Project Options

 

January 20, 2021



The Sidney Airport Authority Board spent most of its Jan. 14 meeting discussing how many improvements to schedule, and with whose money.

The Airport Authority board has been working with Jeff Wolfe of MC Schaff Engineering from Scottsbluff on an improvement project that would include new striping and crack sealing. The Authority Board is seeking repairs on the cement approaching hangars. The conflict is, according to Wolfe, the Federal Aviation Administration will not help with the cost of hangar approaches.

During the Jan. 14 meeting, board chairman Ron Meyer questioned why the costs have gone up about $200,000; $250,000 when first discussed in 2018 and $450,000 at the current estimate.

Wolfe said one of the challenges of living in western Nebraska is the limited number of contractors. He added, 2020 figures were used to arrive at $450,000. At that cost, the airport's share of the cost would be $45,000.

“I will tell you, you can't do these improvements for $45,000,” Wolfe said. “You're probably looking at $100,000.”

Wolfe said the Airport Authority has the options of delaying or dropping the project. However, the FAA will continue to expect some of the issues to be priority.

“I will say this: Today is as cheap as it gets,'” Wolfe said.

He compared it to a home repair project that is delayed for years and each year the price increases due to inflation.

He said the FAA prioritizes airport work as the “air side” being the top priority. The pavement at the airport is in good condition wile markings are fair.

“When something reaches the fair category, they're like 'you should start planning something,'” he said.

He added the first 10 to 15 feet in front of a hangar is the responsibility of the airport, not the FAA. That work can be done by a local contractor, he said, and likely much cheaper than through the federal funding process. He added that striping is expensive because federal requirements are to first scrub existing paint from the pavement, then apply the new markings.


The board decided to step away from the bid and contact local contractors.

 

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