Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oroville Municipal Airport (KOVE), California: Pilots like what city has in mind for base

Tom Hagler checks the new 3,000 gallon Jet A Refueler truck at the Oroville Airport on Wednesday. A full service jet fueling program is planned to start within the next few weeks.
 (Photo Credit:  Ty Barbour)

A rendering of the remodeled Oroville Airport is seen here. 
(Contributed Photo)

OROVILLE — A handful of pilots attended a workshop Wednesday to review and comment on the city's preliminary plan to give the building housing the fixed base at the Oroville Municipal Airport a facelift, and all seemed to like the idea.

City Councilman David Pittman and Vice Mayor Thil Wilcox sit on the fixed base operator committee that scheduled the workshop to talk to pilots.

The committee unveiled the preliminary layout and exterior renderings for the project to get comments and suggestions from the pilots on the final plan, Wednesday afternoon.

"It's very, very nice," said David Martin. "It looks very professional, and it looks like a place I would like to come to."

Martin lives in Gridley, and is one of the pilots who rents a hangar for his airplane at the Oroville airport.

He said the airport building improvements would pull a lot of people into he area, especially if the city partnered with the golf course cafŽ next door to accommodate pilots.

The Table Mountain Golf Course Clubhouse that includes the cafŽ is now undergoing a $400,000 remodel.

Martin said pilots fly into airports that just offer cafŽs, but Oroville has to much more to attract pilots including the casinos, Lake Oroville, local restaurants, and other attractions and recreational activities including hunting and fishing.

The city has completed a preliminary layout to renovate the fixed base building at the airport.

City Administrator G. Harold Duffey said the city had been working on the plan for a little more than a year.

He said the airport improvements are part of the city's MIDAS projects, an acronym for Municipal Investment in Development to Achieve Success.

He said the city has earmarked $290,000 for the remodel.

Duffey said after incorporating the pilots' suggestions, city staff will develop a report and final plans to advertise for contractor's bids.

The proposal would go to City Council for final approval, probably in July, he said.

Duffey said the new city architect hired to fast forward MIDAS projects, Patrick Cole, had crafted the preliminary plan for the airport.

Duffey said the city could make the building nice, but he is looking for corporate and commercial sponsorships for additional improvements and amenities that could include a kiosk with local attractions or shuttle bus services.

Renovation of the building will benefit the airport and the aviation community, as well as attracting many visitors into the community, he said.

The improvements will also complement the full service jet fueling program planned to start within the next few weeks.

Plans call for American's With Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms, a pilot's rest and changing area, kitchen facilities, a training and meeting room, a manager's office and an enhanced public waiting area.

Cole showed a plan he said adds improvements to the existing steel framed building and structure "and adds only what you need to jazz it up."

That would include facade changes such as adding a glass atrium to the front of the building and a wing shaped addition to the roof to complement an airport theme.

An apron of colored concrete would go around the front of the building to provide easy access to visitors and to people with disabilities.

Outside entrances to the remodeled restrooms would have some type of security code that would allow pilots to access them when the office is closed.

The plan includes new furnishings inside as well as a reception area that would be revamped and moved to the center of an entrance walkway that separates the waiting area into two separate areas.

Pilots all approved the plans with minor suggestions.


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