City looks to FAA for funds for runway pavement

City officials hope to provide more pavement at both ends of the runway at Auburn Municipal Airport, making things safer for aircraft and to accommodate the present and forecast fleet of multi-engineer piston aircraft for takeoff and accelerated-stop distances on wet surfaces

That is, where the runway now is about 3,400 feet long, the plan is to increase it to 4,000 feet long.

As the City expects to put $16,666 toward an anticipated design cost of $333,333, it obviously needs help to fully fund this phase of the project.

Grant funding to support design enhancements to the runway is available from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Aviation Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

At a special meeting July 24, the City approved a resolution that, following FAA requirements, submitted an application for the grant funds and detailed all sources of support. The grant is non competitive.

Here are the anticipated sources of revenue:

• Federal funds (FAA): $300,000, 90 percent of funding

• City funds (Airport Fund): $16,666, 5 percent

• State funds (WSDOT): $16,666 5 percent

Total: $333,333, 100 percent

If the WSDOT does not award the grant funding, Auburn’s share would increase to $33,333, or 10 percent of the total project cost.

The project is part of the most recent Airport Master Plan, which the FAA and WSDOT approved.

“We got a call the middle of last week, and the FAA asked for us to submit a grant application to them,” said City Engineer Ingrid Gaub. “We asked for this special meeting so we could get that done because it takes quite a bit of time to get through all the paperwork with the FAA.”

The City expects to submit a grant application to the FAA in 2018 to help cover the anticipated $1.5 million cost of actually adding the pavement. That grant will have to win out in a competitive process.

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