Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yellowstone Regional Airport (KCOD), Cody, Wyoming

New YRA building ‘handy’ this winter


Two investments at Yellowstone Regional Airport during the past two years have helped the staff cope with adverse conditions this winter.

In December 2012, the airport bought a multitask unit to assist with snow removal. Airport manager Bob Hooper described the unit as “huge,” saying it’s 55-feet long and has two 475-horsepower engines, one for the chassis and the other for the broom/blower unit. It allows a single operator to plow and broom the surface simultaneously.

The acquisition meant the airport needed a building to house the huge unit along with all its other snow-removal equipment. The facility, completed this winter, is located between the new terminal and the aircraft rescue and firefighting station.

Before its construction, equipment was kept in the firefighting station or outside, Hooper said.

Stored in the 8,000-square-foot structure are the multitask unit, a snowplow-broom, two plows, a rotary blower, two pickup-mounted plows, a chemical de-icing spray unit and a runway friction measuring vehicle. The last piece is used to gauge braking action on the runway whenever conditions change, which can occur frequently, Hooper said.

To a question about whether the snow-removal equipment has been used frequently this winter, Hooper replied, “Unfortunately, yes.”

The new building cost $630,000 and included the optional addition of a generator for runway lights, said Tim Wick, engineer with Morrison-Maierlie. The estimate for just the structure was $622,000.

A standard, prefabricated metal building, it has four 20-foot-wide overhead doors and two pedestrian doors. The general contractor was Cowan Construction.

“It’s a building that the airport really needed, especially this winter,” Wick said.

Funding came from the Federal Aviation Administration 93.5 percent, the state of Wyoming 3.75 percent and YRA 2.75 percent. Hooper said the federal portion came out of the $1 million that the FAA annually gives to every commercial airport.

The YRA portion came from the passenger facility fee of $4.50 per enplanement, “so no city or county money was used,” he added.

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