$4 million grant to help pay for fence at airport

Grand Junction Regional Airport will begin construction in the coming months on a new security fence that will encircle the airport and is intended to keep both animals and humans off the property.

The airport has received a $4.15 million federal grant for the first phase of a $12 million, three-phase project that is expected to take three or four years to complete.

“It will enhance the overall security of the airport,” Airport Manager Rex Tippetts said Monday after Mesa County commissioners agreed to co-sponsor the grant with the Grand Junction City Council.

Tippetts said the Federal Aviation Administration-mandated fence will stand 8 feet high and run 6 feet below ground to prevent animals from digging underneath the fence.

Even though the airport is required to build the fence, Tippetts said it has not had much trouble in the past with animals or people accessing runways or other restricted areas of the airport property.

Two years ago, a Grand Junction woman was arrested for allegedly driving drunk, crashing through a fence at the airport and driving down a runway.

No planes were taking off or landing during the incident.


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