CEDAR CITY — Cedar City Regional Airport has recently been awarded a $1.27 million safety and infrastructure grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The grant is part of a $1.2 billion package being awarded to more than 400 airports in all 50 states and six U.S. territories, according to a recent FAA news release.
“This $1.2 billion federal investment will improve our nation’s airport infrastructure, enhance safety, and strengthen growth in local communities, which is especially important as the economy recovers from COVID-19,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in the Sept. 1 announcement.
Cedar City Regional Airport manager Nick Holt said the money will be used to reconstruct a taxiway, pay for a new beacon and make other needed improvements.
Holt took Cedar City News on a short tour of the locations where improvements are planned. He said the pavement in certain sections of the airport is approaching 50 years old.
“We’re looking at the oldest pavement on the airport right now: the taxiway Charlie and Charlie 1 intersection,” he said, adding that the taxiway in question was formerly known as Alpha but was renamed along with a few other designated routes during the recent reconstruction project, which saw its ribbon cutting in July.
“The FAA funds pavement for 20 years, and after the 20 years, you can do an overlay on it and get another 10 years,” Holt said, “so we’ve well exceeded our life expectancy on this asphalt.”
The taxiway area will also be reconfigured to meet FAA safety standards, he said, noting that the project also involves replacing a drainage pipe and other subsurface work, as well as a new seal coating on the pavement of the helicopter apron.
“Another thing that’s tied in with this grant is to replace our rotating beacon,” Holt said, pointing to a red-and-white pole adjacent to the fixed base operator hangar.
“The rotating beacon is important because it gives pilots a visual reference at night to be able to locate the airport and let them know they can land.”
Holt said the replacement beacon costs about $73,000.
The contract for the new project has already gone out to bid, with a handful of Southern Utah companies submitting bids, he said.
“I’m taking a recommendation to the City Council this Wednesday,” he said. “And then the following Wednesday, they’ll vote on it.”
Cedar City Regional Airport recently finished the bulk of an extensive $17 million runway resurfacing project, which still has a few finishing touches remaining, to be completed by the FAA.
But unlike that much larger project, which closed the airport to commercial traffic for four months, the new improvement projects won’t require a shutdown, Holt said, adding that work on the new project is expected to start next spring.
Cedar City is one of five Utah communities named in the news release as being recipients of the current airport improvement grant package, with the others being Wendover, Logan, Spanish Fork and Roosevelt. The FAA press release included a complete listing of grants and an interactive map of airports receiving funding.
Holt said the U.S. government is not requiring the municipalities to come up with matching funds to qualify for and receive the federally funded grants.
“That’s the unique thing about this year, with COVID, the federal government waived all of our match. So this is a 100% grant.”
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.