44 airports get state funding for projects

Forty-four Colorado airports will each receive between $3,650 and $3 million in grant funding provided by state aviation fuel tax dollars, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Friday.

A total of $20.68 million will be distributed to the airports through the Aviation Discretionary Grant program, which is administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics. The grants will fund safety and infrastructure projects, according to a press release. Participants in the grant program are required to combine state funds with help from local government and/or federal funding.

Western Slope airports approved for grant funding include Aspen Pitkin County Airport, Blake Field in Delta, Eagle County Regional Airport, Garfield County Regional Airport in Rifle, Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, and Hopkins Field in Nucla. Also on the list are Meeker Airport, Montrose Regional Airport, North Fork Valley Airport in Paonia, Rangely Airport, and Telluride Regional Airport.

Many of the projects involve purchasing equipment, performing pavement maintenance, updating master plans, or construction, such as adding a fence to keep out wildlife or expanding the area where aircraft are parked and refueled.

Delta’s Blake Field will combine its $216,952 grant award with $30,522 in local funds and $130,000 in federal monies to make improvements to the airport, perform maintenance on its runway and taxiways, and purchase a multi-use tractor. Paonia’s airport will use a $120,690 grant from the state and $13,410 in local funding for runway maintenance work. Nucla’s airport will make safety improvements with a $109.958 grant that was matched dollar-for-dollar with local funding, plus nearly $2 million in federal funding.

In Rifle, Garfield County Regional Airport will match a $400,000 state grant with $150,000 from the federal government and $51,852 from local sources to fog-seal and re-stripe pavement at the airport. Montrose’s airport plans to install an airfield generator and expand its aircraft parking area with $950,000 from the federal government, $82,310 in local dollars, and $318,567 in state grant funding.


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