Grants help fund airport repairs

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On Tuesday, July 19 the Marana Town Council approved the Town Manager to execute a grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration for funding to aid in the Marana Regional Airport’s Apron and Taxiway Rehabilitation project.

The Marana Regional Airport will undergo total reconstruction of the asphalt for several aprons and one of the taxiways. This $5.1 million project will pay a number of dividends for the airport and the Town of Marana. 

“First and foremost, replacing the surface will make it safer,” said Marana Regional Airport Director Steve Miller. “As the surface gets older, it begins to degrade and can become dangerous to both people and planes. With corporate jets costing as much as $85 million, it is very important to make sure debris does not damage aircraft.”

This project is a complete removal and reconstruction of approximately one million square feet of pavement. The project will not only restore the surface, but improve it. Marana Regional Airport was never designed for jets and, save for the runways, the pavement was not meant for the larger aircraft that now land at the facility on a daily basis. The strength of the existing pavement is currently not sufficient to support the weight of some of the private jets that park on the aprons. The new pavement will be designed to accommodate the weight of the aircraft that utilize this airport.

The new surface will also be cost-effective because it will require less maintenance. Currently, staff must sweep the pavement and remove debris that builds up over time.

“With less focus on the pavement, staff can turn their attention to other operational needs,” Miller said.

The FAA grant is for $4,497,369 while the Arizona Department of Transportation will contribute $220,769. The cost to the Town is $476,724 some of which will come from other FAA monies that were set aside by the airport in anticipation of this project. Additionally, the Town is working with Pima Aviation to enter into an agreement to be reimbursed approximately $132,717 for the ineligible construction costs that are a benefit to Pima Aviation's operations.

With this reimbursement the Town's costs would be reduced to approximately $327,142.