Rifle airport to revamp runway
August 9, 2006
RIFLE – U.S. Rep. John Salazar announced Wednesday that the Garfield County Airport will receive a federal grant of $1.5 million to begin renovations of the runway.”We’re going to see more and more traffic due to the current oil and gas situation in Garfield County,” said Salazar, a Democrat from Colorado’s 3rd District. “This will make the airport safer for the increasing air traffic on the Western Slope.” The Federal Aviation Administration approved the grant after Congress passed a bill on June 14. The bill grants the appropriation of funds to allow the airport to begin an environmental assessment determining the best course of action for construction. The bill is still pending in the senate. With the passage of the bill, the FAA will fund 95 percent of the $22 million project and the Colorado Department of Transportation is expected to match Garfield County’s portion to make up the remaining 5 percent.Renovations for the airport include realignment and leveling of the runway to allow for safer takeoff and landing accommodations, and development of a pilot program for a radar system that the facility currently lacks is under consideration as well.