Airport works to improve runway and parking lot


ALAMOSA—This summer the San Luis Valley Regional Airport should have a new parking lot and runway. However, the airport is waiting on grant money to make that possible. Once they have the funds from the Federal Aviation Administration they can award the bid to a contractor.

"We won't really have a good timeline for the resurfacing project until we get money from the federal government," said Airport Manager Dustin Allinger in an interview on Thursday, "and honestly that's a real pain in the butt because everyone wants to know when the runway closes down."

The entire 8,500-foot runway will be resurfaced in three sections to minimize closure time. As one area is being fixed the other will still be usable by Boutique Air and private pilots. Repairing the last portion—the small midsection—will close the airport for 14 days.

If the project wasn't separated into phases then the airport would have to be closed for 90 days. "It's a really good compromise," Allinger said.

Allinger is planning to have the airport's parking lot repaved at the same time since the terminal will be closed for two weeks. Some of the current parking lot uses areas of unmarked dirt and grass. The newer lot will be smaller since it won't use those areas; however, it will meet the city's minimum of 55 spaces by having at least 60 spaces.

The original plans made by construction firm Jviation estimated the cost at $1 million, before Allinger reduced the scope of the project. The airport has $30,000 budgeted for survey, electrical, and design work for the parking lot.

"It's in bad shape. Anything we do out there is going to be an improvement."