Thursday, April 07, 2016

Burnet Municipal Airport (KBMQ) construction cleared for final approach

City officials said despite weather delays, the resurfacing project at the Burnet Municipal Airport is expected to be on schedule for May completion.

This week, only daytime landings will be permitted at the airport as the facility will be transferring from old lighting to new, one of several updates that have been made to the airport.

Crista Bromley, Burnet City Director of Administrative Services, said work by contractor Chasco Constructors of Round Rock fell 90 days behind “largely due to rain and ground water.”

Bromley reported to council in a recent meeting that contractors had put the “pedal to the metal” to make up for lost time.

“Pending no more bad weather, the project will be complete in May,” she said on Thursday, adding that the airport will be closed twice more for only a few days at a time to complete construction. “The last closure will be for the striping of the runway.”

The project includes two new above ground fuel tanks, new runway and apron (tarmac) surfacing, new lighting, and removal and repositioning of the taxiway to meet new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which required “the moving of infrastructure and acquiring land and easements,” Bromley said, as well as “rerouting Houston Clinton Drive.”

“It has been a long time since the runway had a resurfacing” Bromley said, adding that it was prior to her start on city staff 15 years ago.

The entire project is expected to cost $12 million upon completion.

For repaving and sealing, the runway and taxiway have been closed in sections. Bromley said closures may be expected twice more in April and May. The Annual Bluebonnet Airshow, which usually takes place during the Bluebonnet Festival in April, has been rescheduled to Sept. 10.

Bromley said pilots are notified of the closures through a NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) publicized by FAA contractors.

Bromley said despite occasional airport closures during the project, city staff have already seen an increase in jet fuel sales, due partly to the use of a jet fuel truck, which allows jet pilots to fuel up without having to pull up near to the fuel tanks.

“We expect to have based jets in the next year or two,” Bromley said, adding that pilots preferred the easy fill-up provided by the fuel truck. “It's something we were looking at doing anyway. We already had it in the budget to lease the jet fuel truck.”

In a meeting on Tuesday March 22, Burnet City Council approved the lease of the jet fuel truck monthly for $1,400.

Bromley said the cost of the truck will raise the cost of fuel by about $1 per gallon.

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