Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Taos Regional Airport (KSKX) permit gets county approval

TAOS — The expansion of the Taos Regional Airport is cleared for takeoff.

Acting Taos County Planning Director Edward Vigíl approved the town’s permit application Tuesday for the $24 million project, which will include the construction of a second runway at the facility northwest of town.

The controversial project has been the source of heated debate in the community in recent months, but the battle over whether the expansion is needed or wanted goes back decades.

Supporters of the expansion say the second runway will improve safety at the airport and encourage investment and economic development in Taos. Nearly all of the cost of the project is being covered by the state and federal governments. The airport is owned and operated by the town of Taos.

Detractors have made various arguments against the expansion, including worries that it will increase pollution, affect property values in the surrounding area, lead to an increased military presence in Taos, and worsen the economic gap between the wealthy and poor.

Vigil’s approval means the town can technically break ground on the project now. Town Manager Rick Bellis could not be immediately reached Tuesday on when construction would begin.


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