Anyone who has visited the airport in the last few months will have noticed there is a lot of activity and improvements going on! Here are a few highlights:
RUNWAY & TAXIWAY REHAB PROJECT: We found out in late June that the FAA would be able to provide a discretionary grant to the airport to fund the rehabilitation (crack sealing, re-coating, new markings) of the runway and taxiways. The catch: we had to have the project bid by the end of August! With a lot of help from our airport consultant, Mead & Hunt, we were able to get a design package together, put it out to bid, and meet the deadline. This is a real benefit to L45 since FAA discretionary money for General Aviation airports has been very limited in recent years. The flipside of the benefit of this project is that the runway and various taxiways will be closed during the work. We have planned it such that from start of closure to opening, each segment will be no more than 3 weeks. The main project, the rumway itself, is scheduled to be closed the first 3 weeks of November, 2013. Watch for the Notice to Airman (NOTAM) announcing the closure.
HEX HANGARS, COMMERCIAL HANGAR AND SHOP: All of these buildings have been recently painted. The color scheme matches what started with the Rocket Shop Café—tan walls with “rocket” red trim. Combined with the new paint done last year for the T-hangars and shade port, the buildings look a lot better.
SOUTHWEST HANGAR EXPANSION: The vehicle access road is currently under construction. The general contractor, Griffith Company, is doing a great job and is ahead of schedule. This project is 90% funded by FAA and another 5% funding is by Cal Trans State Aeronautics. This means only a 5% match with local general aviation funds is needed.
COMPASS ROSE: Our local EAA, Chapter 71, was able to complete the compass rose on the northeast apron. The EAA members with help from the Bakersfield 99’s provided the stencil, layout, and labor. The City Public Works Department donated the paint. It’s a great addition to the airport.
GATE ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM: All tenants received a letter from me back in January of this year notifying you that the airport was going from the keypad access control system to a proximity card-reader system. Due to several factors including the number of flight club members and the administration and management requirements of this type of systems, the project is on hold for now. We will be moving forward with a security camera system throughout the airport.