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Authority approves reconstruction of aircraft taxilane

by Tom LaVenture

Posted on 1/19/2017

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority approved an aircraft taxilane reconstruction project on the west side of the airport in the general aviation hangar area this summer.

Authority members Keith Veil and Trent Sletto were not present at the meeting Wednesday.

Another taxilane that is scheduled to be removed after the Federal Aviation Administration said it did not fit the geometry of the airport was put on hold until a construction safety plan is completed, said Samuel Seafeldt, Jamestown Regional Airport manager. The west taxilane project is on the runway side of the general aviation hangars, he said.

"This is going to be the busiest summer since I''ve been here as far as projects go," Seafeldt said.

A second project to remove a taxilane that the FAA found inconsistent with airport geometry was delayed until federal applications for related projects are complete, said Steve Aldinger, a senior project engineer at Interstate Engineering, in his project report.

A wetlands project design is undergoing revisions based on input from outside agencies, Aldinger said. The changes must be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Once the wetland reduction project is complete in 2017 a 10-year wildlife hazard assessment will start in 2018, he said.

The authority directed Seafeldt to draft a letter to the Airport Association of North Dakota to support legislation that the organization is advocating related to aviation. The legislation includes Senate Bill 2179, which has language to extend municipal low-interest loans to political subdivisions including airport authorities, he said.

Mayor Katie Andersen, who serves on the Airport Authority, said it would also take additional legislation to be passed by the North Dakota Legislature to allow low-interest loans to be used for reconstruction projects in addition to new construction. If SB 2179 and other legislation is passed, it would allow the authority to qualify for low-interest loans to satisfy the city portion of its runway overlay project funding, she said.

The Airport Authority also welcomed Mark Urquhart as the newest member on the authority. He is a city-appointed member and replaced Jeff Wilhelm.

Urquhart is a raw procurement manager for Cavendish Farms. He oversees agricultural-related activities for potato production at the Jamestown location.

"I appreciate the opportunity," Urquhart said.

Airport Authority Chair Jim Boyd said this would be his last year on the Airport Authority when his term is completed. City- and county-appointed members serve five-year terms.

Five Airport Authority members are appointed by the Jamestown City Council and two are appointed by the Stutsman County Commission.

In her report, Andersen said work is progressing on an approximately 87-acre industrial park along N.D. Highway 20 on airport property between the two main airport runways. Up to 20 lots would be available for aviation-related industrial development that is FAA approved for non-aeronautical use.

Lots would be adjacent to aircraft taxilanes for direct aircraft services such as fueling and maintenance, with additional space for aviation support businesses, she said.

The city of Jamestown, Stutsman County and the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. have a tentative agreement to begin working on infrastructure development for the industrial park, she said.

In other business, the authority:

postponed committee assignments and the election of board officers until February.

confirmed runway use for the Jamestown Drag Racing Association event on July 15-16.

changed the next regular authority meeting date from Feb. 15 to 6 p.m. Feb. 22.