Grand Junction airport using fuel tax revenue for project
Colorado distributed $19.7 million in state aviation fuel tax revenue to 47 Colorado public use airport, including $103,000 for Grand Junction Regional Airport, state officials announced Thursday.
The amounts, which come from the Aviation Discretionary Grant Program, ranged from $8,000 to $3 million, officials said.
Grand Junction Regional Airport is to receive $103,000 for a $720,000 project to design an air carrier apron for the terminal and to conduct a geotech study. The authority is to contribute about $40,000 to the project and $575,000 will come from federal and other sources, according to the announcement.
Projects at airports in Delta, Paonia, Montrose and Glenwood Springs also received state grants.
The grants represent Colorado’s contribution to airport projects around the state worth a total of $68.3 million.
All of the projects are intended to improve safety and infrastructure.
No grants were awarded unless the applicant could provide matching funds — local, federal or both.
A 2013 Economic Impact Study of Colorado Airports showed that airports support 265,700 jobs statewide and create a total economic output of $37.6 billion annually.
The Grand Junction airport supports 843 jobs, including tenant businesses, and injects an annual payroll of $55 million into the Grand Junction economy. The airport also produces goods and services valued at $177.5 million each year, according to the 2013 report.
“Annually, 175,000 visitors arrive in Colorado via Grand Junction Regional Airport. Some stay only for the day, but others stay longer and have higher spending rates. Air visitors spend money locally on food, lodging, transportation, entertainment and retail purchases. Visitor spending in turn supports jobs and payroll while producing additional economic impacts through multiplier effects,” the study said.
For example, the 843 jobs worked at the airport in 2013 supported an additional 857 jobs outside the airport making total employment due to the airport 1,700, according to the study.
Multiplier effects caused the $55 million airport payroll to produce a $99 million impact on the local economy as paycheck dollars turn over in the community, the study said.
“The economic multipliers provided by our airports through the moving of people, goods, and services are tremendous,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a news release.
The statutorily based grant program requires all aviation fuel tax collections in Colorado be returned to the aviation system through airport grants and other aviation projects of state interest.
Proposals received from Colorado public use airports are evaluated by a division of the Colorado Department of Transportation and are approved by the Colorado Aeronautical Board. The governor then reviews the grant applications and issues the final go-aheads, officials said.