Grant funds move airport runway repairs forward

OCEANSIDE — The Bob Maxwell Memorial Airfield will soon see an improved runway and taxiway thanks to completion of a drainage study, which was primarily funded by a Federal Aviation Administration grant. The city can now go forward with the next step and have runway and taxiway repairs designed, which are also expected to be funded by a FAA grant.

“A drainage study was needed before a rehabilitation design of the runway and taxiway as drainage issues have occurred in the past during periods of heavy rain,” Doug Eddow, city real estate manager, said. “In turn, a runway and taxiway rehabilitation design is needed before the construction of improvements of the runway and taxiway could take place.”

City Council approved acceptance of $157,500 in grant funds for the completed drainage study Aug. 9. The grant covers 90 percent of total costs.

The city plans to request a grant to cover the construction costs of runway and taxiway improvements once the rehabilitation design is completed.

Following the council meeting Councilman Jerry Kern said he is glad to see improvements move forward.

“The airport needs to be maintained and improved, it’s vitally important as it gets more and more active,” Kern said.

Kern added airport tenant GoJump skydiving has 40 to 50 daily flights alone (the business was not available to verify number of flights).

There have been steady improvements to the city municipal airport over the past eight years. Airport Property Ventures began a lease and operating agreement with the city in 2009.

Since then the airport has seen new hangar buildings, refurbishment of old hangar buildings and upgrades to the terminal building including new restrooms and office space.

There have also been upgrades to airport lighting, signage, exterior landscaping and the addition of a new perimeter fence and gate.

Also important to airport operations is completion of a Master Plan study.

“The cost of the improvements to the airport are in the neighborhood of $2 million,” Eddow said.

Improvements to date have been funded through Airport Property Ventures financing and equity, California Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics grants and FAA grants.

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