Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hagerstown Regional(KHGR), Maryland: Airport to finish repainting taxiway lines

Hagerstown Regional Airport plans to use $12,298 in leftover revenue from a past passenger facility charge to finish repainting lines on taxiways this year, Airport Director Phil Ridenour said Monday. 

The $12,298 is left over from a past $4.50 passenger facility charge that began in March 2002, according to Ridenour and Herald-Mail archives.

At that time, the passenger facility charge was increased from $3 to $4.50 to raise $308,000 to pay for construction of a building to house snow removal equipment, to buy snow removal equipment, and to buy a wheelchair lift device, according to Herald-Mail archives. The $4.50 fee was expected to end after that money was raised, around January 2004.

Ridenour did not know when the charge ceased, but said it was several years ago.

Ridenour said the leftover $12,298 will be applied toward the estimated $19,000 cost to finish repainting taxiway lines when the weather improves this year.

The painting project began late last summer, with the first part being paid for with about $21,000 in operations funding, he said. Operations funds will cover the difference between the $12,298 and the actual cost of the second part of the repainting, he said. Bids need to be submitted for this year’s part of the project so the actual cost is not yet known, he said.

An FAA inspection in March 2012 determined that the taxiways needed repainting because the paint had faded, Ridenour said. The paint used on taxiways contains glass beads for reflectivity and the beads get scraped off by plows or faded by weather, he said.

A statement on the airport’s website as late as Monday afternoon stated the “Airport is hereby providing notice of its intent to submit an application for authority to impose and use a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC).”

The statement linked to a document about an opportunity for public comment regarding a proposed $4.50 charge with “N/A,” for “not applicable,” listed for when the fee would start and stop.

Ridenour said a passenger facility charge is not being proposed for the airport, but that the Federal Aviation Administration requires airport officials to submit an application, as if the airport was going to charge a passenger facility charge, so the airport can use the leftover revenue for the taxiway project.

The application and process are necessary to ensure the project is eligible for the passenger-facility-charge revenue, according to the FAA.

A public hearing was held at the end of December or early January about the proposal to use the leftover passenger facility charge funding for the painting work, but no one showed up to comment, Ridenour said.

The statement had been removed from the airport homepage as of Monday night. Ridenour said earlier that it was to be removed from the website on Jan. 22, but the webmaster wasn’t contacted to remove it, he said.

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