Thursday, July 11, 2013

Runway project closes airport for weeks: Angel Fire (KAXX), New Mexico

Anyone thinking about flying in or out of the Colfax County Angel Fire Airport is going to have to wait a few weeks, as the facility closed Tuesday (July 9) for a runway rehabilitation project and is not expected to reopen until mid-September.

Colfax County officials have had plans for the airport for some time, and the county recently received a $1,204,440 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay for the rehabilitation work.

Workers will repave the runway and chip-seal the taxiway and apron, which is where aircraft are parked. The runway project is meant to help maintain the structural integrity of the pavement and to minimize foreign-object debris.

“The airport might reopen a little earlier than Sept. 20 if they get finished earlier,” airport Manager Harvey Wright said. “It’s also going to depend on the weather. If it holds up, the contractor can get more work accomplished.”

Wright said the airport staff will also work on several of their own improvement projects during the closure.

“We are going to be putting insulation in current hangars and painting,” he said. “We’re also going to replace a toilet in the bathrooms and replace some tile.”

A new fuel farm was recently installed at the airport, allowing pilots to fuel up even after hours. All of the improvements are part of an effort to make the facility more attractive to pilots and visitors.

County officials also hope to erect an additional hangar that could provide long-term storage at the airport. The hangars currently at the facility are used for aircraft requiring maintenance or services, and most airplanes are stored outside in the elements.

“We would have to apply for additional grants in order to build additional hangar space,” Assistant Colfax County Manager Cheryl Navarette said.

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