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"Mesa airport to get $22M in upgrades over five years"



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mesa airport to get $22M in upgrades over five years
By Maria Polletta
The Arizona Republic


Falcon Field Airport last week received City Council approval for
capital-improvement projects totaling more than $22 million, tentatively set
to be executed over the next five years.
 
The upgrades are part of a larger expansion plan for the city-owned and
operated airport, as it works to develop and redevelop property for
aeronautical use. The updated airport master plan, approved in 2009,
analyzes present and future airport-infrastructure needs and provides
direction for long-term airport development.
 
"The overall vision for the airport is to continue its role as a reliever
airport for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and serve the needs of
business and recreational users," Falcon Field spokeswoman Dee Anne Thomas
said. Goals are "to maintain and improve its aesthetic appearance, quality
and functionality, in order to maintain revenue streams and the airport's
financial self-sustainability as an enterprise," she said.
 
The general-aviation airport was the fifth busiest in the nation last year.
 
Improvement projects include:
 
Overhaul of the terminal building, built in 1971. The passenger waiting
area, pilot-briefing room, lobby and public restrooms need to be brought
into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act access guidelines. The
exterior likely will be revamped as well, though design plans haven't been
completed.
 
Signage and landscaping improvements to develop a "signature look" for the
airport.
 
Airfield-lighting upgrades, including replacing incandescent with
light-emitting diode (LED) lights to cut electrical and maintenance costs.
 
Construction of a taxiway across Roadrunner Drive, which would create access
to the land on the east side of Falcon Field.
 
Repairs and aesthetic upgrades to the airport's historic World War II
hangars.
 
A parking-space layout redesign, to increase the number of aircraft tie-down
spaces available for rent.
 
Upgrades to city-owned facilities, including a hangar, so Mesa can lease
them for additional airport revenue.
 
Runway-safety improvements, such as guard lights at runway intersections
that don't have them.
 
Airport officials stressed that even if an upgrade is approved as part of
its capital-improvement program, there are no guarantees it will be
completed.
 
"Circumstances, airport needs or available funding could change," Thomas
said.
 
Falcon Field has additional improvements up for Council review this month,
including a runway-guard light system, a pavement-preservation project and a
ramp-rehabilitation and replacement project in the airport's southwestern
quadrant.

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