Those multi-engine, piston aircraft the city of Auburn has long wanted to attract to its airport are big, demanding 3,500 to 4,000 feet of runway length to come to a complete stop at takeoff should something go wrong.
But until this month, the airport’s runway was only 3,400 feet long.
In July, Pivetta Brothers Construction of Sumner completed a project that extends the Auburn Municipal Airport’s total runway length to 3,841 lineal feet, 200 feet on the north and 241 feet on the south end, to increase capacity, improve safety, and support stormwater management improvements.
And it makes the airport more profitable.
The city would like to have gone a little farther, but could not because of site restraints.
Work on the north end reconfigured the taxi-way and extended the runway 200 feet. Activity had to stop there because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a 200-foot long runway safety area at the end of the runway. Installed were underground storm detention chambers to square the project with the city’s stormwater management program.
Work on the south end installed a second, underground stormwater detention pond and extended the runway almost all the way to the edge of the airport property.
“The reason the FAA allowed this is because in the near future we are going to be purchasing a portion of the property south of the runway owned by King County – park and ride – and building the runway safety area there,” the city reported back in April.
King County surplused that park-and-ride property in 2012.
On Sept. 27, 2019, the airport received a $2.7 million construction grant from the FAA plus $150,000 from the Airport Improvement Program’s mandatory funding commitments, which the airport receives every year to apply to whatever projects it has identified.
The airport continued to be open during construction, with restricted times of closure for some of the work to be completed, mostly at night.